How to Build an Elite Sales Organization

Building a Plan for Improving Sales Performance 

An elite sales organization is one that drives higher win rateslarger deal sizeshigher margins, and predictable revenue

Can you confidently say you and your team excel in all of these areas?  Whether you're launching a new product, moving to a subscription model or trying to meet accelerating growth rates, it is difficult to scale if you don't have the foundation in place.

When we work with new customers, we often map out a plan for improving sales performance. It starts with establishing a roadmap for the quadrants of sales effectiveness. 

  • Sales Message - the ability for your sales team to articulate value and differentiation in a way that has meaning for your buyers.
  • Sales Execution - the ability for your sales reps to understandwhat they need to do during each stage of the sales process and how they can leverage appropriate resources within your organization to move an opportunity forward.
  • Sales Planning - how your sales teams are able to build qualified pipeline at the territory level and accurately forecast your business.
  • Sales Talent  - how your sales organization is attracting, hiring adn retaining top sales talent. 
The more you have a cadence around these areas, the more your sales organization will exceed goals and out-perform the competition. 

Quick Links

Enabling a Value-Based Sales Conversation

Ensuring Your Reps Advance and Close High-Value Opportunities

Accurately Predict and Achieve Your Number

Attract, On-Boardand Retain Top Sales Performers

 

How to Enable Your Customer-Facing Teams to Have Value-Based Sales Conversations

Elite sales organizations are building cross-functional alignment in two key areas.

  1. How Create Value for Your Customers
  2. How You Differentiate from Your Competitors

Every department in your organization (e.g., marketing, product, services, etc. . . ) must have a clear understanding of the problems you solve for your buyers and the positive business outcomes you drive, as well as how you deliver that value differently or better than your competitors. Without that clarity, salespeople can’t execute a value message or that buyer conversation effectively. They are unable to demonstrate a clear message for the buyer because what they say is often lost in a sea of mixed messages from digital avenues, technical consultants, etc. . . 

Everyone in your company should have the same answers to these essential questions 

  • What problems do you solve for your customers?
  • How do you specifically solve those problems?
  • How do you do it differently than your competition?
  • What’s your proof?

If you want to improve sales performance, you need to ensure your organization has alignment and focus on these essential questions. By building that foundation, you can then come up with a plan to equip your salespeople and additional customer-facing teams with the ability to be successful at the buyer-level. 

 

Ensuring Your Sales Reps and Managers Have the Ability to Qualify and Advance Opportunities

Elite sales organizations enable salespeople to spend as much time as possible on revenue driving activities. They ensure their sellers are equipped to do their job as they move an opportunity into a closed deal.

For many sales organizations, that buying process is complicated. There are multiple decision makers and multiple players from your organizations that may be involved in the sales process.

  • How are your salespeople leveraging internal resources?
  • How are they able to do their job throughout the entire customer engagement process?
  • Is there consistency?
  • How are you creating value along this process?

In order to sell more, faster, you need a way to drive repeatability within the sales process. That starts wtih a plan that ensures everyone needs to know who does what and when. 

 

How to Accurately Predict and Achieve Your Revenue Number

Accountability couldn’t be more important than in the sales planning process. That cadence with which you are enabling your managers to inspect and reinforce is critical to driving revenue predictability.

You’ve been there. It’s the end of the quarter and your reps are scrambling for the number. The whole organization is a stress ball. So, what happens? Sales reps go into the accounts and opportunities trying to squeeze anything they can into the quarter. They discount and lose margin while they desperately try to close deals that aren’t baked. As sales leaders, we need to ensure our reps are building pipeline at the territory level.
If we want to drive success in sales planning, we need to drive accountability in the forecast, creating a sales culture where we drive pipeline at the territory level versus within the forecast.

Elite sales organizations have the tools, processes and content that enable accurate revenue forecasts and drive accountability in the forecast. A repeateable management cadence, (We use the Management Operating Rhythm®), that gives front-line sales managers the ability to focus on high-value activities helps drive the inspection needed to ensure effectiveness. 

 

Attract, On-Board and Retain High-Performing Sales Reps

Your sales talent is the only sustainable competitive advantage for your organization. If you can hire great people, you will see results where it matters – The Bottom Line

Remember, great talent delivers.

As a sales organization, it is up to you to find the right fit - the person who has the right behaviors to be successful within your sales organization and who can operate with maximum efficiency in the four areas of sales performance.

Elite sales organizations define what success looks like in the variety of sales roles you have. Without that definition, you will never be able to be an elite sales organization. Because you will constantly be struggling with the wrong performers.

Elite sales organizations are disciplined when it comes to sales talent. They ensure they have a defined on-boarding process that ramps reps quickly and plans for their succession. How are you ensuring that your sales organization is owning the recruiting and retaining of top reps?  Implementing a success profile, as well as a coaching model and feedback tools that your team actually uses will give you the foundation necessary to make sales talent a competitive advantage. 

 

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