As your company begins to hire new sales reps and looks for ways to accelerate their ramp-up time, while we would all like our reps to get on quota track faster, we have found that the “readiness” of the sales organization is critical to making this goal a reality.
Given that there is always room for improvement the best sales organizations organizations are continually looking to improve effectiveness and efficiency. Here is a five step checklist for sales leaders to assess their organization's sales readiness.
#1 Clear Sales Strategy:
Have you clearly defined and communicated your sales strategy? This includes defining your target market, determining your best prospects and, and developing a plan to sell more to your existing customers. As part of the strategy, you also need to determine territories (organize by region, industry…), sales roles, and compensation plans. Simply stated, new sales reps want to know the following:
- Who do I call?
- What do I say?
- How do I get paid?
#2 Documented Sales Process:
Companies with a documented sales process typically perform much better particularly when the process incorporates best practices from your sales team. A document sales process provides a roadmap for success and ensures that there is a consistency in how sales people engage with customers. It also provides a common language and consistent, clear criteria so managers can quickly ascertain the progress of sales opportunities.
#3 Lead Generation Strategy:
Adding new sales people will require companies to generate more leads unless we are comfortable telling existing reps that their portion of the “lead pie” is getting smaller. This is probably one of the biggest challenges companies face which typically doesn’t present itself until you have an unproductive sales team.
#4 Sales Tools:
New sales reps, in particular, need sales tools to help them demonstrate and reinforce the value of their solutions. Examples include white papers, webinars, and case studies that relate to their prospective customers interests and priorities.
#5 On-Boarding Program
As part of the on-boarding program, it is essential that you effectively set expectations both in terms of results and, more importantly, sales activity levels since these will be much easier to measure in the short term. Also, be sure to recognize “wins” and reinforce positive behaviors as this will help create a culture of success.
Every new year holds great potential and, as sales leaders, it is our responsibility to make sure our sales organization are sales ready.
About Norman Behar