As we step into a new FY, most organizations would have made decisions related to their business goals and would have identified the key sales people that are going to help achieve this goal. While you may arguably have some of the best sales people in the business (that is what everyone likes to believe), it is important equip them with the right resources and help them perform to their potential and drive business growth for your organization.
1) Dovetail marketing organization to build awareness and generate leads
Sales carries organization goals, but marketing needs to support them with awareness initiatives, so these goals need to be dovetailed down to the marketing organization in measurable parameters. If marketing does not build enough awareness, there will be no leads and sales will have nothing to work on, for closure. Expecting sales to go the full distance from awareness to closure is expecting too much
2) Train the sales team on your business offerings
In most of the instances, sales training is across one or two calls (C’mon Isn’t sales expected to hit the ground running?) Sales teams create their own opinion about what they have heard and it may not be always true. They typically start going to the market with what they have understood and so perform at suboptimal levels. Marketing should take over the responsibility to ensure that they understand business offerings well.
3) Set a governance/ review mechanism
Setting a schedule for quantitative and qualitative reviews is very important. Tracking down opportunity movements to closure is what will get you new business. Also tracking commitments by month to the actual numbers will ensure that the sales guys will remain under pressure to perform well.
4) Have an incentive plan/ commission plan
Do make sure that the compensation for your sales team is incomplete without they being able to earn their variable pay (this could be based on incentives/commissions). Make sure that decisions related to incentives/commissions are fair and transparent.
Some of these measures sound simple, but get difficult to track and implement. A strong MIS and reporting culture in the organization can put some of these initiatives on track.
At Xenia, in our sales performance improvement initiatives, we focus on getting this done for our customers.
Regards – Atul Dhakappa
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