You know what’s working within your sales organization. And, perhaps more importantly, you know what isn’t. Maybe your sales team isn't focusing on value in the buyer conversations, and they're giving up too much margin or losing deals altogether. You need better access to the economic buyer and frankly, a better understanding of how your prospects buy.
Whatever your goals are and no matter the challenges you're trying to fix, there is no doubt that aligning your sales initiative to a broader company goal will gain you more buy-in from cross-functional leadership and get you more budget to move the needle.
Getting Executive Buy-In and Commitment
Many organizations understand the problem they're trying to solve, but their training initiatives fall flat, typically because they didn't have a road map to correct the problem for the long-term and/or the initiative didn't have the cross-functional alignment needed to make a difference throughout the customer lifecycle. You can't shortchange change. If you want to change your sales organization, you need a mechanism and discipline that enables lasting results.
The challenge is that many sales leaders treat their initiative as just a sales program. Is your buyer interfacing with just sales? Likely not, and that's why treating your initiative as just a sales program misses the mark. If you want more budget for your sales program, you need to think beyond just your department.
You need other leaders to care about it and to make that happen, tie your initiative to a major company goal. Link it to something that many departments have a vested interest in. If the goals of your initiative are too sales-specific and don’t have a clear connection to a company initiative, your colleagues will see it as a “sales-only” program. They won’t want to waste their time on something that’s not going to move their desired outcomes forward and you won't get any extra budget to drive your outcomes.
For example, let’s say your company is moving to subscription pricing. The goal of this pricing shift is to create recurring revenue that will improve chances for selling the company. You could say the goal of your initiative is to enable the sales team to sell the new products (which have subscription pricing) or you can set the objective is to improve RMR by 15% in the quarter following the kickoff. Perhaps the two are the same, but the latter shows how the event directly aligns with your company's goal of driving RMR. That goal, stated in that way, is probably something marketing, customer success and product are also driving towards this year. Positioning the goals of your initiative in a way that demonstrates value to other departments is a solid first step to increasing your project's budget.
Treat your internal communication process as you would a sales process. You know how to uncover needs and position a solution. Make sure you're doing the same things around your own sales initiative. Formulate, articulate and socialize the three critical components of your initiative, in terms of company-wide value.
- What are the Positive Business Outcomes (PBOs) that this initiative will achieve?
- What are the Required Capabilities in order to achieve those outcomes?
- What are the Metrics that you will use to measure success?
Ensure they're aligned to a company initiative and you'll be more likely to not only gain increased budget for your program but cross-functional buy-in as well.