The often-mentioned quote “Nothing happens until someone sells something” is a strong tribute to the vital presence of Sales Departments in any organization. Yet, sales continues to be one of the most poorly understood and the under optimized areas of business.

Even, it became among the discipline that makes up the field of management, especially with the common misconception in regards of limiting the performance and transformation of sales organizations. “They believe the best way to drive revenue growth is to hire more and better salespeople, have a better compensation plan and provide them with the best sales and technical training.

In conjunction  with the above, HEED has recently participated in the Sales 2.0 Conference – San Francisco, CA. The conference aims at gathering sales leaders, sales enablement professionals and top sales consulting firms to share today’s best practices, strategies, and trends circulated around building a predictive scalable sales organization.

Thus, we thought to share with you the findings within the conference’s presentations,, panels  discussions, and the trends and solutions that stressed on the paradigm shift of the sales organization anatomy. With all the various challenges, it has become of no benefit to look at a successful sales force as a group of good individuals only but rather to the whole organization anatomy.

Challenges

With the baby-boomers generation and the millennials, it has become very difficult to hire and retain good salespeople. Thus executives shifted their focus to rely far too heavily on compensation  and training to drive sales force effectiveness. 
Both are critically important but it has been proven that by themselves they are almost insufficient to achieve significant growth in revenue or profit. Still, the main reason why executives still fall in this trap is that compensation and training are less disruptive to the organization relative to other drivers. However, being relatively easy does not make them the best drivers on which to focus.

Factors to Consider

1.    The Millennials and the Change in Buying Process

By 2020, millennials will make up nearly 50% of the work force and this will definitely change, if it didn’t yet, the buying process.

  • The % of stakeholders in the buying decision process has increased to 5.4 compared to 3.6 persons in 2000.
  • 57% of the information has been through the buying decision process before the customer initiates contact with salespeople.
  • It has increased to 8 attempts for a cold call success compared to 3.7 in 2007.

2.    The Importance of Sales Process

Tiffani Bova from Gartner says, “The most disruptive thing in the market today is not the technology, it is actually the customer.” The customers do their own research. They talk to providers directly. They reach out independently to a trusted network. They are further down the buying process when they engage, and are often overwhelmed with information, thus sales teams must do something different to win more deals.

  • Build a customer driven sales organizational culture. Thus you get rid of any formal sales process that caters only to optimize the internal communication and reporting. Any process should be dynamic and client centric.
  • Redefine your sales funnel to know where the leads are getting lost or accelerating
  • Enabling salespeople comes from shifting their mindset to be client driven “dynamic” rather than product and features oriented.

3.    Sales Analytics

The truths, myths and realities and the impact of sales analytics on business growth. CRM has started 20 years back and until few years ago it started to pick-up exponentially, and this is the case with sales analytics. Although, data availability and cleanliness is a very challenging matter, still Mike Moorman from ZS Associates addressed the importance of setting the discipline, time and resources in applying analysis and science into selling. He even supported his presentation with real cases on how companies have shifted to world-class sales organizations by relying heavily on sales analytics to drive revenue growth and gain competitive advantages. 

4.    Adaptive Learning and Sales Enablement

Keith Eades challenged the conventional best practices thinking to introduce a new paradigm for continued sales enablement. “Maybe a longer sales cycle is better nowadays.” He addressed using a heat map, how taking longer time to build a more solid relationship with the buyer in today’s era have a better impact in the conversion and the winning of an opportunity as well as on the overall sales growth. Thus, encouraging to apply adaptive learning rather than a spray and pray approach.

5.    Technology and Sales Operations Effectiveness

Years ago, there was a buzz where technology has diminished the salesperson’s role. In fact all initiatives in this area ended up with failure. Yes technology has indirectly changed the way we shall sell, but has proved again the importance of human interaction. Based on SAP analytics, 54% prefer to meet with people to finalize their deal, 90% of decision are made only after establishing trust.

To sum it up, I believe ZS Associates have perfectly illustrated it in the blow dashboard SFE navigator while building an evaluation tool for each of the following drivers. 

For further guidance on how to use the SFE navigator and to assess your sales challenges, potential of development along their priorities, make sure to visit SFE Navigator online tool or do not hesitate to contact any of HEED’s consultants for support.
We welcome the idea to speak to you in order to understand better your situation so we could bring our deep expertise in the specific issues you are considering.
HEED provides sales management consulting services to aid organizations in their sales challenges by introducing Science into Sales.
Through the past five years we have successfully implemented and brought into picture the effectiveness of science within sales by linking together strategies, processes, people, and technology.
Today organizations look to HEED for three key elements:
  • Solid Sales Background: Coming from a sales profession with a solid experience in sales and engineering analytical mindset coupled with our understanding of the market, and best practices, give us the privilege to integrate the customer behavior factor perfectly into the sales formula. Such exercise is the key differentiator between a successful project and a mediocre theoretical one. 
  • Pragmatic Process Consultants: We believe that the best way for us to work for you is to collaborate with you. Thus coming from a third point of view and as process consultants we move in tandem with our clients to collaborate with the entitled people to develop and build the best fit solution. 
  • Discipline of Execution: Companies have been hiring us to work closely with them to achieve results. Such projects’ successes or failures could be easily spotted, thus it’s our main interest to guarantee results. As such, we follow closely in building up the momentum of flywheel model to insure consistency and coherence until we guarantee the success of the project.

Take the first step in sales improvement today.

Contact us to learn how we can help you identify and solve your sales challenges.