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How sales readiness moves you 'up and to the right'

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A quick glance at virtually any business' goal chart reveals the true definition of success: It's up and to the right. It's the same for everyone, and everyone wants to get there quicker, easier and more often. In business, the destination never changes; but, ironically, successful companies are always in a state of change. Most C-level executives, however, report that their biggest business challenge is how to effectively manage change across their organizations while keeping the revenue chart trending up. Companies are still trying to break into new markets by introducing new products and services, developing channels and working with new partners. Yet many have struggled to find an effective way to manage change while ensuring that employees, partners and other company stakeholders stay aligned with business objectives and executing on goals that drive revenue. Therefore, the real challenge is to find the missing link between growth initiatives and the sales process. In recent years, sales enablement has undergone a number of significant changes. It is evolving from a revenue-generating tool used by individual salespeople to a management platform directing enterprise growth. There are a number of factors that come into play to assure your organization's business objectives are being met. To reach success, you must ensure that corporate execution of initiatives equals sales execution. That is where your sales strategy becomes critical. Do not mistake sales effectiveness for tactical tools that push information to the right target. A true sales readiness strategy must examine some critical success factors. Ask yourself about your company:
  • To facilitate change: Are you prepared to anticipate changes in market dynamics or strategy and respond—not in an ad hoc manner—but as a way of conducting business every day?
  • To command and control: Can you ensure consistency in sales messaging and execution, and have a repeatable management operating rhythm?
  • To implement focused sales execution: Can you accelerate the learning curve for new revenue streams and rapidly ramp up new hires, streamline acquisitions and educate partners in a manner suited to the seller and the situation?
  • To empower individuals: Can your people take ownership of developing, locating and customizing customer-facing sales assets and engage with strategic selling resources in a brand-driven, initiative-focused manner?
  • To mobilize the team: Is your sales team ready for collaboration and execution anytime, anywhere?
  • To invest in channel and global resources: Can you expand your revenue initiatives' reach and impact by providing global channel partners and nonsales groups access to key information?
Business leaders want to drive more revenue, create change and transform their businesses. Yet studies show that 70% of these initiatives fail. There's a void somewhere between best-laid plans and the realization of those plans. In order to be successful, that hole needs to be filled if a sales strategy is to capture the best deal value. By answering the questions above, most organizations will be able to push business goals forward and move revenue up and to the right. Mark O'Connell is CEO of sales enablement company Savo Group (www.savogroup.com). He can be reached at mark.oconnell@savogroup.com.
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