Key Ways to Gain Executive Buy-in and More Budget for Your Sales Initiative

Key Ways to Gain Executive Buy-in and More Budget for Your Sales Initiative

Categories: Sales Transformation  |  Sales Leadership

You know your sales organization needs some help.

You're seeing the negative consequences of too many bad habits. Things like too much discounting, an inability to accurately forecast revenue and reps pushing for too many product demos that don't demonstrate value and differentiation to the buyer.

If you want to lead a sales organization that is completely focused on the customer, you need a sales transformation initiative that fundamentally changes behavior. Cross-functional alignment is often the difference between initiatives that succeed and those that fall flat. Success will require alignment and support for your fellow executive leaders.

One of the most effective ways to gain buy-in and build alignment around the need for a sales initiative is to connect it to more than just the sales organization. Simply put, your program can't just focus on sales. It's true that sales is an essential component to your organization's growth, but sales can't be successful without alignment from product, marketing, services, customer success, etc....

If you want other leaders to care about it, your sales initiative needs to be tied to a company initiative, something that many other executives also have a vested interest in. You don't want them to see it as a sales only program. Why would they give any time or resources into helping something that is just going to benefit the sales team? 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.

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 to company goal of driving RMR. That goal, stated in that way, is probably something marketing, customer success and product are also driving towards this year.

Your fellow executives are going to be more supportive of initiatives that help their outcomes as well. If the sales team is better enabled to sell the value of the products, everyone is going to benefit. However, take the time to create success metrics into numbers everyone cares about. Still plan to measure your hard-core sales numbers - quota, deal size, meetings-to-win, etc..., but make sure your communicating the value of the initiative in a way that demonstrates cross-functional benefit. Build alignment and support from the beginning and the road to lasting success will be a much easier one.

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