“I need your opinion of my sales organization overall with a development plan…oh yeah…I need it next week.”
I have heard this before…and it spells trouble. Four out of five times it means trouble for me. Can I assess a sales organization in a week? Yes, but your satisfaction with the output will be in doubt…and that’s how I can get into trouble.
I always work from a copyrighted formula;
Sales Results = (Sales Skill + Sales Will) X (Execution + Leadership)
Each of these variables has 8 drivers.
Sales Skills (primarily B2B)
- Prospecting Skills
- Presenting Skills
- Probing Skills
- Listening Skills
- Closing Skills
- Pipeline Management Skills
- Product Knowledge
- Industry Awareness
- Recruitment Process
- High Performance Focus
- Target Compensation @ Plan
- Peer Recognition
- Family & Friend Recognition
- Tactical Sales Plans Aligned with Strategy
- Incentive Plan Clarity
- Effective Field Coaching
- Goal Clarity
- Tactical Prescription
- Performance Metrics
- Defined Performance Management Process
- Joint Call Activity Levels
- Readiness Assessment
- Coaching & Counseling
- Strategy Development
- Strategy Communication
- Tactical Definition & Measurement
- Readiness Planning
- Sales Participation
- Performance Management Process Execution
- Leadership Style
- Recognition & Communication
These are the 32 drivers of sales results. Based on your industry and sales channels they will vary somewhat.
You start the assessment process with the understanding that there is a limit to the organizations resources and ability to execute change. With this in mind, the key is to find the largest gaps and then to formulate a “do-able” organizational development plan that will begin to close those gaps.
I begin my assessments by examining the drivers at a high level, identifying the major gaps and then drilling down. This saves me time and saves my clients significant money. Once the four to six gaps are identified I review and discuss them with the assessment sponsors to find those gaps where the solutions can be bundled into a singular development initiative. Again, this approach is designed to save money, time and ensure execution.
Why bother with an assessment? It saves time, money and ensures sales growth. Why spend money on negotiation training if your issues stem from a lack of field coaching? Why waste time perfecting a lead generation program when your individual contributors are handicapped in their search for client pain? Why would you continue to give up margins just because your sales pipeline is anemic? Why continue to throw good money into an incentive plan when your recruiting process keeps bringing in candidates with low skill and low sales will?
Great organizations have a common approach to problem solving. Assess, plan and execute.
If you want to grow sales, you’re best approach is to start at the beginning.