There are few successful companies operating in today’s market where ongoing professional development of its sales function is not a critical element of the growth strategy. To achieve breakthrough in driving sustained sales excellence, sales development programmes require people at every level to be committed to making the change happen. The programmes should be planned, tailored, communicated and implemented as part of a clear strategy for shifting the skills, behaviours, attitudes and performance of the sales function at the sales person and sales management levels.
Here is a 7 step summary to ensure breakthrough in sales excellence is attained:
Integrated & tailored solutions
- You should implement an applied and tailored solution for developing and embedding sales excellence that is integrated into the wider strategy for delivering growth. The sales development programme needs to be aligned to other change initiatives so that everything is ‘joined’ up as a single overall strategy for change. In essence, the sales teams must know that everything that every person does must contribute directly to the strategy for driving sales excellence and growth.
Leadership team active commitment
- The leadership team needs to champion the programme. For the programme to work, it is crucial that your people have to see, hear and feel the executive team’s commitment to the sales development programme – not just in terms of words, but also in terms of involvement and an ongoing commitment to making a sustained change that will lead to a performance improvement. Leaders and managers need to embody, role-model and champion the change from the front.
Best-practice Process, Competencies, Attitudes & Execution
- The programme must develop all aspects of sales excellence i.e. best-practice, encompassing: the sales process (including planning); the critical sales competencies (skills and behaviours) in the field and on the phone; the attitudes required for sustained excellence on a day-in, day-out basis; and the actual execution (delivery of the numbers) in the workplace by every individual at every level right up to sales director throughout the month, quarter and right up to and beyond the year end.
Embedding new tools & techniques into ‘business as usual’
- The new tools, techniques and behaviours that the programme develops must be embedded into the culture and into the ‘business as usual’ reviews, coaching sessions, personal development planning processes and performance management processes.
Development of sales interactions, campaigns and planning
- The programme also needs to develop the effectiveness and efficiency of individual sales interactions, sales campaigns, sales territory planning and sales performance management across the sales function.
Remain in touch with the stages of the journey for your people
- You mustn’t waiver in times of pressure and don’t allow excuses to get in the way but understand when market conditions require a different pace. Don’t raise the bar for everyone too soon – make the stages of the journey achievable on an individual basis but make it clear that the goal of sales excellence (in terms of process, attitude, competencies and execution) must be achieved by all.
Nurture the right stakeholder partnerships
- Choose and nurture the right partnerships both externally and internally (across your stakeholder community) to enable you to get there.
How Sterling Chase helps drive sales excellence:
Our specialist teams work with companies to design sales development programmes that are tailored to their selling environment, enabling them meet to their sales challenges using an approach that directly drives sales excellence. For example two of our recent programmes respectively delivered £10m in incremental revenue and 50% growth in total gross margin.
To find out how Sterling Chase can enable you to deliver sustainable sales excellence and ground-breaking return on your investment, visit us on our stand 47 at the National Sales Conference on 16th October or contact us at: +44 (0) 1296 319 697. If you wish to read more about driving sales excellence, download our free whitepaper on this subject at visit our website.