The 4 Pillars Of A Powerful Sales Function

I have spoken a few times in this blog about how sales roles are changing and how sales people need to adapt to the modern selling environment where buyers are overloaded with information. But exactly how do you enable this for you sales team and gear them up to become influencing sales people? Well to be exact, there are 4 key pillars that need to be established and reviewed on a frequent basis to ensure that your sales team deliver the goods now, and in the future.

1. Sales Strategy:

The first pillar is a sound Sales Strategy. This is the destination you want your sales team to get to. A well detailed Sales Strategy sets out how you are going to exceed business targets to the nth degree. It addresses the type of industries and the businesses in those industries that suit your product and service offering; it details what resources will be best used to engage each type of business; and the role players and their respective value propositions. Without a clearly defined sales strategy, you may get by hand over first, but you will never experience significant sales growth. In this day of information and technology, Sales Strategies need to be reviewed every 6 to 12 months.

2. Sales Processes:

Sales Processes are the next pillar required to build your sales team of the future. With mention of the word “processes”, most sales people at just about any level want to run a mile. “More admin – meh!” Although Sales Processes can be tricky to set up, once done, it makes the lives of sales people much easier. If the Sales Strategy is your sales team’s destination, then the processes are the navigation system that will get you to that destination and detail what is required to get a sale from point A to point B. Without a proper Sales Process, the Sales Strategy is merely an idea that will fade in time.

3. Automation:

Once you have thoroughly detailed your Sales Processes, Automation of these processes becomes the next pillar – traditionally known as Customer Relationship Management (CRM). CRM gets a bad wrap, because it is very seldom tailored to a business’s Sales Process – they are given a vanilla one that has no relevance. But if you have a CRM that you can custom load your sales processes yourself, then the game changes significantly. You can automate workflows, tasks, and activities that guide your sales people through the Sales Process (more won deals, shorter sales cycles, etc.). This also makes sure that your processes are not forgotten when key staff members move on, and makes onbaording of sales people seamless. Automation is the vehicle that will get you to the destination. Without automation, you cannot track sales processes and the performance of your sales team within these processes.

4. Reporting And Analytics:

With these 3 pillars up and running correctly, you get access to Reporting And Analytics that most sales teams have never been exposed to. Why? Well because of the reluctance to use CRM, the data inputted is the bare minimum. It’s what the sales guys had to do because it’s in their KPI’s. Rubbish in, rubbish out. But if the Automation tool is one that adds value to the sales people, to the extent that they need to use it on a daily basis, you get access to all sorts of data that we have not had before. You may know your business’s average deal size, the average sales cycle, and the average closing rate. But do you know what this is per sales team, and team member? And that’s just the beginning. Reporting And Analytics when done right and frequently will re inform strategy, this time armed with information that you never had the last time you did your Sales Strategy.

The 4 pillars need to be set up in chronological order in order for them to deliver results. The classic example of this is the use of CRM when there are no Sales Processes – the CRM quickly becomes obsolete because you need to at least have a basic understanding of your Sales Processes. Once all 4 have been set up, you start changing the sales game in your industry. In the articles to follow, I will break down each of the pillars and explain how to get them in place correctly.

martin-profile-picHi, I’m Martin, founder of Rapid Sales Growth. Did you find this post useful? Would you like to discuss challenges facing your business when it comes to sales, and explore innovative techniques to over come them? Or would you just like to hear more hints and tips? Whatever you need, reach out to me at any time for an obligation free chat. My number is +27 10 005 5321, and my email is Martin@RapidSalesGrowth.com. Or simply fill out the form below and I’ll get in touch with you. Chat soon, Martin.

 

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