Sales is integral to business. Without sales we don’t have a business.
But running a sales operation, leading the sales effort and guiding and directing a sales team can be a constant juggling act. Sales operations have many moving parts and they all require constant vigilance and effective decision making. The execution risk is always high.
Sales operations and teams are also fragile ecosystems. Set up well to perform to a standard, they require constant hands-on leadership and stewardship; it’s like keeping a set of spinning plates spinning. Take your eyes off those sales plates for a second and everything can come crashing down around you.
Here is where it gets interesting: making decisions based on long term goals whilst getting results today is a balancing act. Long term goals are proven to be the best way to operate a successful business but if we can’t survive and run a viable operation now, our business is not going to be there for the long term.
The Sales Juggling Act
Juggling immediate sales priorities with sales strategic goals requires clarity, commitment and communication in order to minimise risk.
Clarity around your sales strategy and how it is going to be executed, commitment from the leadership team to make it happen, and communication with the whole of the sales operation and broader business so everyone knows how they contribute.
A few questions you can use as a guide
Ask yourself these questions to make sure you are ready to tackle the opportunities and challenges that lay ahead:
- Strategy: Do you have a sales strategy in place that is targeted to viable growth areas; and has it been reviewed in the last 12 months?
- Process: Do you have articulated sales processes in place that help guide and direct your sales team, keeping them moving in the right direction doing the right tasks?
- People: Do you support your team with regular training and coaching to keep them sales fit and successful?
- Culture: is your culture client facing, helpful, proactive and integrated across the client value chain with the aim at working together with people, clients and employees alike?
Based on your responses to these questions, take time to reflect and ask yourself: “What are our top one or two priorities around improving or growing sales? What are we doing about it?”
Maybe you know exactly what you need to do, maybe you have an idea but are not sure how to execute it, or maybe you just don’t know where to start.
Whatever stage you are at, you don’t have to do this on your own. If you need someone to bounce ideas off, help you fill in any gaps or help you create a productive and enjoyable sales team and operation we can help you. From determining your priorities to design and execution, we have expertise in sales strategy, sales consulting, sales process, sales coaching and training to help you on your journey to selling better.
Get in touch with us and find out how you can minimise your sales execution risk.