The B2B sales profession continues to evolve at a rapid rate due to client demands. Unfortunately, the sales training industry has not kept pace and is rapidly becoming obsolete. With the cost of sales too high, and win-rates too low, many sales leaders are frustrated with the limited options for improvement and the continuing downward trend in sales leadership tenure. The average sales leader now can expect less than 2 years in their role unless they deploy the Science of Selling.
The new Science of Selling has arrived and provides 5 key areas of measurement that can greatly affect win-rates, revenue, reps to plan, reduction in the cost of sales and consistency in plan attainment. Science doesn’t replace the “art” of selling, it leverages it.
The five areas that must be MEASURED by every sales leader include:
- Alignment to a chosen Go-to-Market Strategy. Once sales has determined their strategy, all of the functional areas MUST be aligned and measured against the strategy. It is important to note that these functions cannot be aligned to each other, they can only be aligned to a common strategy. Only through alignment can the power of the organization be placed behind and in sync with the sales strategy.
- Sales talent. There are many “assessments” on the market but what is missing is the critical issue of mapping people to the Go-to-Market Strategy. Many new product launches or acquired product/service lines fail to generate the expected revenue due to having the wrong people on the front line. Considering that it takes, on average, 12 months to determine the success level of a newly acquired sales person, it highlights the importance of measurement.
- Sales opportunities and Relationships. These must be measured in such a manner that an objective qualification can be established. The cost of sales is too high to do otherwise. Understanding the strengths and weaknesses within an opportunity is critical. There are many opportunities that may also be a good “fit” but aren’t positioned to be won. The bad news is that these opportunities are blindly pursued without the proper visibility necessary to navigate a complex selling environment.
- All marketing activities. Marketing is one of the most important driving functions concerned with improving revenue results and must be measured by its ability to assist in driving revenue. The potential for revenue improvement is vast IF alignment is created.
- Economic justification in the form of ROI. How many initiatives create an ROI long after the excitement of the new initiative has worn away? This is a major reason for the “musical chairs” approach to sales training.
The Science of Selling eliminates subjective approaches to improvement and results. It is a proven, integrated, and quantified process that greatly improves the odds of achieving goals while replacing the older and ineffective “sales training” methodologies. Sales Leaders should become heavily involved in demanding accountability for sales improvement initiatives that affect performance and their longevity within the company.
The key question for Sales Leadership is, “how are you going to significantly improve revenue achievement results without a structured and measurable process?” Training by itself is a poor answer. A discussion with Sales Enablement to understand how the Science of Selling can be utilized within the organization is warranted.