Leadership Series: In the upcoming series of blogs we will share what we have learned in our work with senior sales leaders. Our intent is to present ideas in brief Checklist fashion. We welcome feedback if you have thoughts or contribution, and hope you find this series to be useful and thought-provoking.
During the 17 years we have been in business, we have seen many approaches to growth. From product innovation to the pursuit of new markets, many options exist. This first blog highlights five ideas we have seen leaders take. I recommend you reflect on them, assess what you are doing in each of these areas, and then focus on 1 or 2 that can work for your business.
1.Document Your Sales Process – Do you have a documented sales process? Unfortunately, most organizations have not invested the effort in doing so. Our experience shows that the having one is the foundation for continuous improvement, measurement and focus. It is the roadmap and framework for coaching and for creating LIFT with the sales force. We recommend you make this a priority.
2. Growth Planning – Establish accountability and discipline for achieving financial goals through Territory Growth Plans and Key Account Strategy practices. Organizations that are rigorous around territory execution win more often than those that don’t.
3. Reposition Who You Are – Leading companies reposition their sales forces as “problem definers” so they have something for their “solutions” to fix. Focus your sales force on strategies that help improve your customer’s business results. The more they know about the customer, the more they are seen as helpers, truly integrated into the customer’s business.
4. Metrics – Create deliberate measures that reflect both historical and leading indicators of effectiveness. How many measures you select will depend on your business and the level of rigor you need to apply for your sales force.
5. Customer Business Reviews – Make quarterly or annual Business Reviews a must for each salesperson’s top five customers. Planning for and delivering formal Customer Business Reviews is a proven strategy to build account penetration and deepen customer loyalty. Delivering Business Reviews is the single best strategy to change the customer’s perception of your sales force from “vendors” to “advisors.”
Stay tuned for the next five in the upcoming blog!