The sales game has evolved dramatically in recent years, from how salespeople sell and the products that they sell through to the expectations of their prospective buyers. As a result, we are seeing a major sales transformation affecting businesses of all shapes and sizes.
Success in this new world depends on more than simply the performance of your salespeople, and the prospect of transforming your entire organisation can seem pretty daunting. However, it doesn’t have to be the seemingly impossible endeavour it is often made out to be.
What is Sales Transformation?
Sales transformation represents a wholesale change in a business’ go-to-market strategy and execution methods. It enables salespeople to evolve their selling approach and have completely different conversations with prospects.
Sales transformation typically comes about as a result of the following scenarios:
- Mergers and acquisitions
- Major product innovations
- Approaching new markets or prospect customers
- Taking a new approach to sales methodology
A true sales transformation is aimed at targeting new markets, increasing productivity levels and bringing in new revenue. To succeed in sales transformation, sales organisations will need to deliver training, coaching, and enablement in order to get sales managers and salespeople alike on board with the new strategy. This will help them strive towards transformational readiness by retaining a sharp focus on the knowledge and sales skills that salespeople need to have to transform their conversations with prospects and customers.
Preparing for Sales Transformation
Many factors contribute to the sales transformation process, but it’s vital to focus time and resources on the organisational aspects that will have the biggest impact. First of all, to prepare their teams for sales transformation, sales leadership must adopt the following considerations:
- Educating sales managers on the new learning paths they will provide to their teams is vital. Attending a sales event like the National Sales Conference 2020 will help salespeople hone their skills for the new world of selling
- Create a team of in-house experts that are responsible for ensuring salespeople have mastered their new selling skills and scenarios. This team will typically include sales management, sales representatives and marketing
- Demonstrate early success stories that show salespeople that the transformation is working and help them to learn from these successes
It’s then important to focus in on the organisational issues that may affect their business’ sales transformation.
Tools and technologies: Key technologies and integrations will play an important role in creating experiences that will appeal to salespeople’s prospects. Organisations that are early on in the sales transformation process may only require basic office productivity tools, but bigger, more complex businesses will likely rely on legacy front and back-end systems that create smooth buyer journeys.
The power of the salesperson: While digital transformation may have drastically changed the way that businesses work it has yet to minimise the influence of a good salesperson. Your sales organisation itself remains crucial as your business goes through its sales transformation. As this process progresses, ensure you evolve the way your team is structured, your team’s sales skills and methodologies, and refine their KPIs and targets.
Customer experience: No matter how great your product is, if your customer experiences don’t deliver on expectations then your prospects are highly likely to turn to a competitor. It’s vital to focus on delivering superior experiences throughout the sales transformation process, both when prospects are doing their research into your brand and when they come to speak to a salesperson.
Marketing success: An organisation’s marketing team is vital to their sales transformation. The way in which the marketing team is structured, and what team members are focused on, and how they measure success will have a huge impact. Organisations that are earlier on in their sales transformation and sales development process will likely be focused on lead generation, while the more developed businesses will be looking to personalised, interactive marketing experiences.
Sales and marketing alignment: While the effectiveness of your sales and marketing teams individually are important to sales transformation, the way they collaborate is key to driving sales maturity. The two teams need to work together as one to identify the right customers, provide the right messaging and content, and invest in the right resources that will deliver the experiences that will engage prospects and bring success to the organisation.
Sales Enablement’s role in Sales Transformation
The goal of sales enablement is to ensure that sales efforts deliver great experiences to prospects, users, and customers. As your organisation advances through the sales transformation journey so too sales enablement will evolve to become an established team that delivers ongoing, personalised coaching to help salespeople achieve their full potential. Sales enablement will ultimately play a key role in helping salespeople hone their sales skills and become trusted advisers.
Sales organisations will continue to evolve as they go through sales transformation but the considerations laid out above will remove the fear factor of modernising their sales skills and processes.