Strategies to Improve Sales: How to Drive Consistency in Your Sales Organization
Categories: Company Alignment
The most successful executives never underestimate the power of gaining consistency in the sales organization. Whether it's in qualification, opportunity reviews, or customer conversations, the power of everyone executing in the same manner, with the same understanding can, be a game changer for your organization.
Too often, sales leaders and teams are focused on the short-term and the current forecast to take a step back and assess the alignment and consistency that they may be missing across the organization. They're so caught up in driving the number that they don't stop and take the time to right the ship. Then it's too late. They're in a position where they can't impact the numbers as much as they had hoped.
Do you have the courage to drive consistency in your sales organization? Here are five ways to do it.
1. A Value Messaging Framework
You can't achieve consistency if your salespeople are each having different conversations with customers. Each one of your team members should have a consistent answer to the following questions:
- What problems do you solve?
- How do you specifically solve those problems?
- How do you do it differently and/or better than the competition?
- What's your proof?
We call those the essential questions in your framework because they're that critical. If you asked each one of your salespeople these questions, how many answers would you get? What kind of message is that inconsistency sending to your buyers?
2. Cross-Functional Alignment
At the same time, you need to have consistency cross-functionally around those essential questions. Would your product, customer success, marketing and services departments answer those questions in the same way?
Consistency in your sales organization isn't possible without key departments aligned on how to execute the business strategy at the point-of-sale. Beyond the customer conversation, there needs to be cross-functional alignment on your buyer strategy. As an organization, are you focused on implementation? Are you focused on retention? If your departments aren't set up to execute in the same way, you'll struggle with a host of problems, including revenue predictability.
3. Mastering of the Hand-Off
Sellers are one part of a much larger set of skills that are going to interact with the customer along the buying process. If you want to drive consistency in your sales organization, you need to ensure hand-offs between departments are mastered and executed seamlessly for the customer. This is critically important with qualification.
Qualification carries. Deals aren’t sold by one entry point and qualification criteria can't be determined by one entry point. As an organization, do you care about lead generation or is your sales process focused on implementation? Neither are wrong, but you need to determine what qualification point is important for your organization.
What matters to you along the buying process? Do you care about getting the order or do you care about successful implementation to a client? For example, if you are going for just those initial orders, qualification stops at the first deal. If your qualification stops at the first deal, there’s no real good way to hand off to others what we just sold to the client.
On the other hand, if implementation is important and I’m not qualifying for successful implementation on the front-end, I’m missing the opportunity to set up conversations that would create additional requirements for the client post-initial order. I need to do that in order to create more leverage for myself at the negotiation. You have several groups in your company – Marketing, Inside Sales, Services, Account Managers, Renewals, etc…. You need a mechanism to ensure that sales execution throughout the entire customer engagement process is executed consistently. You need to ensure your team members are mastering the hand-off.
4. Embedded in Technology
No matter the technology you are using, you want to make sure your processes and language are embedded in the tool. For example, if you are using the MEDDICC methodology, include the qualification components into opportunity record in the CRM. If you are a Command of the Message® customer, ensure that the identified, positive business outcomes, required capabilities and metrics are also there. Adding this information into a CRM ensures that everyone looking at the opportunity can have the context needed at anytime to identify the probability of that deal closing.
5. Leaders Who Walk the Talk
If you want to have consistency in your sales organization, you need to model the behavior. Companies that excel in alignment and consistency have leaders who use the same language and tools as their reps, demonstrating the importance of using the methodologies.
When it comes to accelerating growth and how to improve sales, increasing your average deal sizes and reducing customer churn, consistency within the sales organization and across the company is critically important. Have the courage to instill the fundamentals that drive a repeatable process for your teams.