Is Your Sales Organization Equipped to Deliver Your Strategy

Is Your Sales Organization Equipped to Deliver Your Strategy?

Over the years at Blue Canyon we have worked closely with clients to develop strong growth strategies and accompanying go-to-market plans.  In collaboration with our clients, we have developed clear strategic objectives and pathways to deliver them.  Unfortunately, sometimes the expected business case and accompanying results are not realized.  A common cause we have observed is the sales organization’s struggle to deliver on the strategy and generate more sales.

Our Strategy & Implementation framework[1] illustrates this problem. You may have developed sound, fact-based growth strategies, including deep market insights and thoughtful marketing strategies.  However, if sales planning, sales deployment, and related support tools and processes fall short, the results from Implementation will be disappointing (see items highlighted in blue).

Strategy and Implementation Framework
Figure 1 – Strategy & Implementation Framework

As our Strategy & Implementation Framework illustrates, the sales organization plays an integral role in delivering the strategy.  The challenge lies in how well the sales organization is equipped to sell the value proposition to these target customers.  This is not simply a question of having experienced salespeople; this is a question of the capabilities of the entire sales organization: its design, processes, tools, and skills.

A client of ours recently faced this challenge.  After we developed an updated and revised growth strategy along with a new value proposition to position the company with target customers, our client quickly understood that its sales organization did not have the processes and skills to sell the solution-based value proposition, and did not have the skills to demonstrate the excess value the company can provide relative to competitors.  The sales organization was traditional, relationship-based, and was selling on features, perks, personal relationships, and lower price. 

Given this, we conducted a diagnostic to assess 6 key dimensions of sales effectiveness and identified critical areas requiring priority improvements.  We then designed tools, processes, and approaches to enhance the company’s capability to sell value and then evaluated its sales coverage to ensure the sales team was deployed efficiently and effectively against priority target customers and prospects.  Lastly, new roles were designed to help drive increased prospecting, qualification, and customer acquisition.  The ultimate outcome for this client was having the ability to achieve the millions in incremental revenue they had promised their board.

Questions to consider for your sales organization include:

  • Is our sales organization designed to deliver efficient coverage of our key target customers, with the right sales roles and deployment of sales resources?
  • Do we engage our customers in a way that enables our salespeople to sell value, or are they simply seeking to trade on personal relationships, increased but unneeded service, and lower price?
  • Do we build necessary value-added and consultative selling skills through hiring, training, and coaching, and personal development programs?
  • Are our salesforce incentives motivating and aligned with our strategy?
  • Do our sales operations provide the critical tools and information needed for salespeople to make good decisions in managing their territory?

If you find the answers to these questions unsatisfactory for your organization, it is likely that your sales organization is not equipped to deliver your strategy.  Improvements in sales effectiveness will be your key to driving profitable growth.

[1] Atlee Valentine Pope and Bob Manix-Cramer, A Strategy Diagnostic: How to Optimize the Success of Your Go-to-Market and Get-to-Market Efforts, Blue Canyon Partners, Inc. ©2014

Related Insights

3 Guidelines for Managing Disruption

3 Guidelines for Managing Disruption

3 paths to innovation-driven growth

3 Paths to Innovation-Driven Growth During Economic Uncertainty

Boost ROI: Tie Product Management to Growth

Boost Your ROI: Tie Product Management to Growth Goals