When you open up your smartphone to access a map, you’ve got a particular destination in mind; where you want to go for dinner, a meeting, a certain address, or a landmark you wish to visit. There is a focus on the journey’s end, and you want to get there in the most efficient way possible. The map you access usually starts out with a 40,000 foot view of the landscape.
With the destination logged in, the smartphone then prompts you to input some more detailed information: Where you are starting from; how you will be traveling- on foot, bus, or by car; and what mode of directions you would prefer, audible or inscribed? Once you have keyed in the basic information, the map application will zero in on your exact location and guide you, step-by-step, until you arrive at your destination.
1. Formulate Your Go-To-Market Strategy, and Align WHERE Sales Will Compete
A Sales Strategy is the 40,000 foot view of the vision or mission of an organization’s long and short term objectives. The strategy is carefully formulated by upper management to move an organization toward their specific destination. If, for example, an organization has the desire to increase revenue, a Sales Strategy for increased revenue may be formulated with the careful consideration of many different factors: assets, competition, the marketplace, margins, operational costs, the number of product lines, distribution, channels, value propositions, and plans for growth, to state a few.
We recently worked with an organization who wanted us to help them build a Sales Process to “get more sales now”! Their short-sightedness of only looking at the “close up” of the map gave them the misguided idea that their destination was nothing more than to get the reps out there selling better! We were able to guide them through a Sales Strategy exercise, and THEN helped them build a Sales Process on what to do to execute their strategy.
2. Turning Strategy into Tactical Execution: Sales Process Illustrates the HOW
The principal component of a Sales Strategy is execution. Sales Process outlines the step-by-step, most efficient, customized directions to get to the final destination. It provides information on how to get to the destinations in specific detail, based on selling skills. This specificity enables the implementation of strategy by providing the following advantages to the entire team:
- A common objective
- A common path and language
- Practical messaging tools based on the strategy
- Skill sets that are tied to Process steps
- Process Steps that are tied Pipeline Milestones
3. WHAT To Do at Each Step Along the Way: A Clear Path
If you ensure that all sales reps and managers follow the Sales Process, you can outline expectations and more easily benchmark your sales team against common criteria, providing an excellent evaluation of the strategy at the rep level. A Sales Process provides:
- The specific instructions on what to do with respect to customer interactions
- A measure of the skill of individual sales reps
- An opportunity for focused skill coaching of reps by managers
- A powerful reporting tool for leading KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) on benchmark performance against key outcomes of the Sales Strategy.
When determining your organization’s Sales Strategy, take the time to ensure your understanding of the entire landscape. Then, implement a Sales Process that allows you to execute toward your objectives, with the ability to gauge your success along the route, and soon, you’ll arrive at your destination: Success!