Growing and evolving is crucial to the success of a business, and sales organizations are no different. For the B2B sales industry, in particular, periods of change — whether stimulated by internal or external forces — can broadly impact overall success or failure.
As sales teams attempt to adopt the “next normal” that’s emerged from the pandemic, the importance of adopting modern strategies has become more apparent than ever. But siloed pipeline generation and management, inefficient sales processes, and disparate tools threaten an organization’s ability to drive growth in an era of uncertainty and ever-increasing buyer expectations. We call this the Sales Execution Gap.
The hard truth is that your company’s capacity to pivot will likely determine whether or not it survives times of change. And while minor improvements here and there may help ward off some negative impact to performance, it’s often not enough. Organizations need overall sales transformation to truly thrive in the midst of change.
Sales transformation is the intentional, growth-minded effort a sales organization launches to align its processes, technologies, and people. Not just to grow the business outright but to grow in an efficient, predictable way.
While the broader goal of sales transformation remains relatively unchanged from one organization to the next, the specific steps needed to maximize your strategy are unique to your business. For example, a company gearing up to sell a new product will need to take a different approach than one looking to streamline operations after a recent merger. Where the former might need to develop new sales methodologies and content, the latter may need education, onboarding, and change management techniques.
But it’s not just businesses undergoing clear, sudden change that need to consider sales transformation. Modern sales organizations need to optimize for a changing competitive landscape. In fact, a recent Forrester study found that 54% of sales leaders claim that the uncertain economic environment has the most impact on their go-to-market strategies. By comparison, 38% cite changing buyer requirements as the most impactful.
The motivation to undergo sales transformation may arise from near-term challenges or proactive preparation for future transitions, such as evolving sales models, fewer sales personnel, or changing demographics). No matter the cause, successful change requires a well-formed strategy.
The success of B2B sales organizations is often weakened by wasteful sales processes, poor execution, and dissatisfied customers. By properly transforming sales operations, a company can benefit in a variety of ways:
Because sales transformation focuses on streamlining operations and implementing technology to make workflows more efficient, productivity is boosted at both the individual and organizational level. Strategies that prioritize automation and leverage modern, powerful tools like conversation intelligence, reps are freed of burdensome, administrative tasks and can instead spend time on higher-value initiatives.
When you align processes and arm reps with the information and tools they need in a single, centralized place that reps can access in real-time, they'll be prepared for any customer interaction. A successful sales transformation ensures your team is using up-to-date sales techniques and materials across the board, which helps sellers to be more effective with the modern buyer. By providing meaningful customer interactions based on cohesive messaging, you’ll have a leg up against the competition.
Building an effective playbook hinges upon your ability to quickly and accurately understand how your pipeline has grown, where it needs to be, and how to get there. Since a key piece of the transformation puzzle is collecting and analyzing actionable metrics (like deal size, rep forecast, and engagement activity), investing in evolving your strategy means gaining pipeline transparency, accurate forecasts, and predictable revenue.
The right technology is paramount to any sales transformation initiative, and leveraging tools to understand which activities, messaging, and channels are working and what needs to be tweaked helps reps not just meet, but exceed their sales goals. By leveraging a platform that assimilate data to identify key patterns, managers can consistently take the best actions to take based on all of they individual moments that comprise they sales cycle.
Guiding a sales digital transformation initiative can seem like a daunting task, especially for organizations that still use inefficient, manual processes and disparate tools. But evolving your go-to-market strategy — and executing all of the necessary changes it requires — doesn’t have to be overwhelming.
We’ve compiled a list of our most valuable sales transformation resources to help get you started in your journey to a more modern, streamlined sales organization:
Overcoming the challenges of today’s sales landscape requires a robust, digital solution that maximizes your team’s efforts and your technology investments. A successful sales transformation isn’t out of reach for organizations that prioritize the right tools, processes, and people. And getting it right can mean the difference between a flailing business that struggles to scale and streamlined operations that drive revenue and growth.