Five secrets to success in the modern sales organization
At the Sales 2.0 Conference earlier this week, I had the pleasure of joining a great panel of experts to discuss several key focus areas that are driving success with world-class sales organizations today.
Our discussion covered a wide variety of topics, but each panelist brought a particular “secret” based on their experience & expertise.
Brett Wallace, director of sales with LinkedIn, talked extensively about the importance of culture, and how a proactive culture can not only drive performance but help organizations successfully navigate both difficult market conditions as well as dynamic, fast-growth times and the “growing pains” that often come from that. Brett gave several examples from his own sales management experiences of taking risks, balancing growth with comfort, and matching your vision with the way you execute and manage on a daily basis.
Charissa Franklin, VP of Client Success for Reality Works Group, emphasized the role of innovation in driving ongoing sales performance. Based on her experience and insights, successful sales teams start with a solid, buyer-centric sales process that’s executed consistently for scalable results, but that foundation is coupled with a culture that regularly tests and measures new ideas, reacts to changing market and customer conditions, and constantly looks for ways to make internal and external factors work more seamlessly and successfully.
Ryan Kubacki, president of Holden International and co-author of The New Power Base Selling, covered several aspects of integration as his secret to sales organization success. He outlined the need for integrating methodology with process, including disciplined sales & marketing processes that create a better customer experience. Without both strategic and tactical integration, it can take far longer than necessary to achieve the same results or output, and those results achieved consistently can be more difficult to scale.
My secret covered several aspects of focus, including knowing what NOT to do to be more successful. Focus includes narrowing in on your target market of early adopters (vs addressing too broad of a market segment too early), as well as ensuring your reps spend more time with their customers and prospects, and less time on victory laps, calling the same prospect for the 15th time, or continuing to pursue a prospect who clearly does not have a need or urgency at this time.
Gerhard Gschwandtner, founder of Selling Power magazine and our host for the conference, rounded out the group with a focus on technology – ensuring your organization has identified & integrated the right tools to make the team more productive, identify the prospects most likely to buy, put a greater focus on sales operations, and both streamline and scale the entire sales process for maximum efficiency, production and scalability.
Do these focus areas resonate with what you’ve seen as requirements for world-class sales organizations today? What’s missing?