The Sales Review

Why Formal Alignment Is The Clearest Path To High Performance [Roundup]

Written by Daniel Ku | Nov 24, 2017 5:27:23 PM

With the new year coming up, chances are you’re focused on ensuring your sales organization ends the year strong and is well prepared strategically for the upcoming year.

Like most sales organizations preparing for the new year, you’ll need to be cognizant of three things:

  1. Revenue goals will likely increase from the following year and quota attainment will also reflect the change
  2. Buyers are getting better at buying faster than your sellers are getting better at selling
  3. Your organizational goal is to outperform and outsell your competition, especially with a commoditized product

How is your sales organization planning for these upcoming challenges and opportunities? How are you optimizing sales performance? And how are you aligning with cross-functionally with marketing and enablement to yield better results?

These are all questions many sales leaders need to be aware of during the planning phase.

In this week’s roundup, we’re sharing three articles that’ll help you and your organization focus on optimizing your revenue-generating efforts. This includes how to better align with marketing and revenue goals, increasing sales rep productivity and alignment around social strategies.

Marketing Plays A Critical Role In Revenue Generation

Like most top-performing organizations, the sales function is held to a high level of accountability. Rightly so as this is the growth engine for most organizations. On the flipside, marketing’s role in revenue generation has come off with a bit of skepticism.

In SBI’s recent article “Why A-Player CMO’s Exercise Extreme Ownership,” Vince Koehler discusses the role of an A-Player CMO that finds extreme ownership is the clearest path to high performance.”

The challenge with marketing’s role in driving revenue is that it is very hard to understand revenue attribution. As Koehler states, “The challenge is that Marketing as a function must be extremely advanced to produce revenue and prove it. There are no trophies for participation.”

In the article, Koehler discusses the role of A-Player CMO’s who embrace extreme ownership of their function. They understand the bigger picture from a strategy standpoint and are accountable for execution as well. They align metrics to individual contributors of their teams and ensure team members don’t operate within silos.

Formally Aligned Social Selling Strategies

According to CSO Insights, companies that have aligned social strategies can improve win rates for forecast deals by 15.2%.

What would a 15.2% improvement in win rates mean for you and your sales organization?

In CSO Insights latest blog, “Effective Social Selling Part 1: Formally Aligned Social Strategies” Tamara Schenk shares the latest research she has uncovered about the impact of social selling on sales performance in 2017.

One interesting insight she found was that “More organizations now align their social strategies. Almost half of organizations are on their journey to achieve a formal alignment. One-fifth have already formally aligned social strategies.” This is the result of quality alignment between sales and marketing which plays a critical success factor for social selling effectiveness.

For proper social selling performance, Schenk advocates that sales force enablement needs to take a strategic approach and align within the customer journey. “Only then can consistency, adoption, and performance impact be achieved. Only then can social selling skills beyond social tools be successfully developed, applied and reinforced to create a significant impact on sales performance.”

Start A Productive Routine

There numerous books, blogs and guides available that all profess to have the secret for ultimate productivity. Although some are effective, the challenge that still arises is the question of “How do we get more done in less time?”

In HubSpot’s latest article, “The 4 D's of Productivity, and How to Use Them” Mike Renahan shares with productivity tips that don’t require a massive habit change or a new system to follow.

The four D’s of productivity include:

Do

Accomplish tasks immediately that only you can complete. This prevents you from worrying about whether you should start and when.

Delegate

As soon as a task pops up, quickly delegate it to the right team member or colleague. This frees up time for you to focus on important tasks ahead

Delete

Any task that is deemed unimportant gets deleted instead of adding it to your growing to-do list.

Delay

If the task can be categorized in any of the three suggestions then set a reminder to touch base with the task in a later time. Delaying an un-urgent task removes pressure for you do accomplish it right away.

From Planning To Execution

As we end this week, one question you should ask yourself is, “how are you enabling your sales organization to meet revenue expectations, engage buyers more effectively and outperform the competition?”

I know, it’s a long-winded question but an important one that needs to be asked as you’re crafting the strategic vision for next year. Look at ways to collaborate with marketing to strive towards revenue goals. Think about adopting social selling not as a replacement, instead an enhancement to your current sales process to engage buyers more effectively. Finally, ask your sellers to look at ways to increase their productivity to ultimately increase performance.