5 Elements To Study When Sales Start To Slide

If revenue at your sales organization has started to slide — or, let’s be honest, has been sliding for a while — the best way to determine the problem is to divide the sales team into four sections: strategy, structure, people and process.

A Sales Guy recently posted a good conceptual blog post highlighting these four key elements. We’ve also added a fifth element — technology — that merits consideration.

  1. Strategy: Developing the go-to-market strategy is critical. Be creative but relevant. Always consider market opportunities and competitive advantages. “If the strategy is not aligned with the market, if you don’t have a strategy or you are executing it poorly your probability for success is very low,” the article suggests.
  2. Structure: Set up the organization to drive the strategy and allow for execution. If the two aren’t aligned, trouble follows.
  3. People: Having the right people in the right position is incredibly difficult. If this isn’t right, nothing else matters. Consider culture, execution and an inventory of skills. Rate the team based on these, and build a road map of things that need to be addressed.
  4. Process: Sales processes need to align with buyers and buying processes. Take a look at your pipeline meeting processes and coaching processes. Are they helping you to make the most of your strategy, structure and people? If not, make a change.
  5. Technology: While technology is an enabler of the other four points, we believe it’s so critical. If you don’t use technology and integrate it correctly, your sales organization is likely to fail.

The Tellwise Nutshell (TTN): Don’t wait for revenue or quota problems to address these points! Although your sense of urgency and ability to drive change are usually greater during times of crisis, you’ll be more structured on the process side if you focus on these key pillars during the good times.

Source: A Sales Guy, October 2013

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