Hiring freeze. No air travel. Web meetings instead. Department consolidation. Code Red…
You can’t cut your way to growth.
Increasing revenue and reducing costs are the only two levers available to improve your business performance. While reducing costs should always be a part of a company’s strategy as it invites innovation and process improvements, cost cutting can only take you so far. You just can’t cut your way to growth. If it is growth you desire, your focus should be on transforming your sales team. A high performing sales team with the right tools and support will deliver consistently quarter after quarter, year after year.
Here are 5 critical-to-success factors to implement that will accelerate growth and maintain ever increasing revenue:
1. Executive Ownership and Alignment: This seems obvious, however, all too often we see executive management teams where each member is focused on their own “priority” (HR on labor policies, CFO on reporting the numbers, CIO on systems improvements, COO on operations, CEO on managing the board and/or the street) and when the sales team doesn’t deliver, the VP of Sales is the lone person on the hot seat or worse - fired. Every member of senior management must be part of the sales strategy and aligned to support it. Best in class companies have all members of senior management in the field with their clients. Does your HR leader make sales calls? How about your CFO? The entire senior management team must be connected directly to the customer to ensure that your entire organization is aware of and aligned on delivering what matters most to your clients.
2. Implement both Sales Process and Sales Methodology: All buyers follow a process that begins with recognizing they have a need and evaluating their options and moves through resolving their concerns to purchasing and implementing. Your sales team needs to be trained to understand each stage of this “buying process” and the key actions they must take in their “selling process”.
Insight Squared, along with the Sales Management Association recently published a study that found 20% year over year growth from organizations that had implemented a formal selling process that was directly aligned with the buying process. The same study shared that organizations whose sales managers spend over 3 hours per week specifically on coaching and inspecting pipeline opportunities found 11% more growth than those whose managers spent less than 3 hours per week.
It's really about coaching, not data inspection. More time allows sales managers to deliver the kind of coaching that really matters. Not simply looking at CRM data for opportunities, but actually giving meaningful feedback about how reps can improve the way they manage opportunities overall. Implementing both a common approach and language around your selling process, and a sales methodology for managing the opportunities is necessary and proven to deliver accelerated growth.