“Characterize people by their actions and you’ll never be fooled by their words.”
If the sales process is WHAT to do, a sales methodology is HOW to do it. And in today’s modern sales organization, this investment is no longer nice to have, rather it is table stakes. You may choose to work with a vendor – Conceptual Selling, Value Selling, Challenger, SPIN Selling, Sandler, MEDDIC – or build your own. But equipping your sales team with a consistent vocabulary and set of skills to advance your sales process generates more predictable and repeatable revenue.
And yet, if you assume that training is enough, you are doing what everyone else is doing. You run the risk of becoming another statistic. According to McKinsey, 70% of commercial transformations fail due to an organizations inability to adopt new behaviors quickly and completely.
- How will you know sellers are applying the right behaviors?
- How will you see the impact on revenue of those that do vs. those that don’t?
- How will you get more sellers to goal?
A sales management process is the only way to gain credible answers to these questions. Let’s explore why.
Sales Management Process: The Key To Effective Execution
Having a sales methodology provides piece of mind to a sales organization, but how does it serve its true purpose in actually helping to advance sales cycles? To answer that question requires sales management attention.
According to Vantage Point Performance, an effective sales management process helps managers operate within a defined cadence of interactions with their sellers, including joint sales calls and 1:1 and team meetings so that they may utilize established checkpoints to assess what is and is not working for each seller in the sales process.
Tell me if one of the following scenarios sounds familiar:
- You recently invested in a new sales methodology, have conducted worldwide training events, and now the question is will the sales team change its behavior to adopt.
- You have a sales methodology that has been in place for some time, but inevitably adoption is not as complete as you hoped.
In either scenario, management checkpoints to assess progress is the way forward. But not all checkpoints are created equal. If you want unquestioned adoption of the selling behaviors that drive performance you need to be prepared to go all the way.
Building Your Sales Management Cadence: A Missed Opportunity
What is the most frequent activity that consumes your sales managers time? The answer in all likelihood is the joint sales call. However, most organizations provide limited structure to guide management attention in observing their sellers. It is a big missed opportunity, as this is the critical moment of truth to determine how the sales methodology is being applied and to what standard.
Without management checkpoints in place, what happens?
- Managers bias late stage activity to hit the number. Pipeline coverage becomes an issue if the team can’t execute at the top of the funnel.
- Not enough time spent with B and C performers to get them to goal. A performers need coaching too, but they will be ok regardless.
- New hires are not given attention. New hire ramp suffers when managers don’t invest up front.
Internal meetings like forecast reviews, pipeline reviews, deal reviews and QBRs matter as well. But if you think you can judge the adoption of your sales methodology from a far then you are not getting to the only source of truth that actually matters – what happens on a sales call.
Being able to intelligently direct management attention to the right places is the difference between partial and complete adoption of your sales methodology. You made this investment for a reason. Don’t become another statistic.
Once you have defined a formal sales methodology composed of selling behaviors, you are no longer ahead of the curve. A formal sales management process is the next competitive advantage for market leaders in creating predictable, repeatable revenue.
Within this process, implementing a well-defined cadence of manager-seller time on joint sales calls may require change management. However, the change is worth the effort if you want to protect against critical investments already in place and ultimately build a sustainable sales organization that gets more sellers to goal.
What would more sellers to goal mean for your sales organization?
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