Unless you are the rare CEO or Chief Sales Officer with a B2B sales force that is knocking it out of the park, you likely fall into either the A or B answer to our question of changing your selling model. If you’re in that lucky club then we graciously give you back the two minutes it would have taken you to skim this blog post.
Everyone Else Searching for a Sales Model That Really Works – This Message is For You!
We see first hand a lot of struggling sales models (and that includes demand generation as well). It’s usually why we are hired in the first place since CEOs and Sales Leaders engage sales consultants when they need to improve results – not when things are going gangbusters. A big part of what we do is help company leaders define the extent of their challenge by giving them both perspective and tools to measure themselves against their goals AND their peers. When they see the gap, many realize it’s time for dramatic changes to the selling model.
That brings us to the Lessons Learned on Managing B2B Sales Transformation that we’d like to share. These are things you should know BEFORE you tackle the tough challenge of reinventing your sales model (or demand generation model) – not three months into it. These examples are taken straight from actual prior engagements and hopefully help prepare those of you considering your own sales transformation for what you might face.
Leading a B2B Sales Transformation Project – Lessons Learned From Those Who’ve Been There
- Don’t hang on to old leaders you know were part of the problem. Make them available to your competition before you get started so you don’t have to argue with them about why things must change.
- Don’t design new positions to accommodate existing staff if they too are part of the problem.
- Build for speed and efficiency – the complexity can come later.
- Get the help you need. Don’t count on internal expertise to suddenly have the experience and knowledge to do something they would have started a long time previously – were they the right people to begin with.
- Once you commit to transforming your sales model go full speed ahead.
- Focus on ROI, not cost. We’ve seen way too many companies act penny-wise and pound foolish when it comes to making needed investments.
- Identify your weak spots and over-resource those areas at the beginning.
- Include constituents from all critical functions when designing and implementing big changes. Excluding key groups from developing the new model is inviting them to challenge and subvert the program once it launches.
- Don’t loose sight of the forest for the trees. Transforming sales and demand generation to be successful in today’s Google-ized buying process and intensely competitive market is a complicated undertaking, but keeping your “change team” focused on the objective will help put the smaller roadblocks in perspective.
- Prepare to adjust course as needed. Even months after launching your new model you will continue to tweak the program, add resource where needed and even shed elements you thought would be critical. Count on it!
Transforming how they sell is way overdue for many company leaders. Selling models running on status quo will only continue to fall further behind and never generate the results that are necessary. We have helped many companies execute sales transformation projects and are glad to talk about the unique challenges you might face within your own company.