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Achieving Sales Excellence
Sales Leaders Need More Than a Title
Endeavor Management
2700 Post Oak Blvd. P + 713.877.8130
Suite 1400 F + 713.877.1823
Houston, Texas 77056 www.endeavormgmt.com
Achieving Sales Excellence
© 2015 Endeavor Management. All Rights Reserved.
Page 2
Overview
A definition of the term Sales Excellence is required: An engaged workforce focused on meeting
customer needs which leads to consistently making your financial goals for the organization. In
order to accomplish Sales Excellence, sales leaders must provide a high performance yet fulfilling
work environment, align processes, systems, people, grow the top line, develop your team, and
provide an exceptional experience while meeting the customer demands. A leader must
accomplish all of this while dealing with communication issues, managing change, and solving
growth issues (too much growth or not enough).
This is why you need more than a new title to become a great sales leader and drive Sales
Excellence for your organization. Most sales leaders were great sales people who were rewarded
by being promoted to management. Many times without the proper support and skills training
such as a leadership/management platform, appropriate performance standards and expectations,
or formal job coaching.
Because these new leaders don’t always have experience or know how to develop others, they
have a hard time leading other sales professional’s and persuading other functional leaders in the
organization on changes needed to grow the business. They have been handed the keys to drive
the organization and told to quickly meet the following goals:
Increase New Business
Grow Existing Business
Train Up or Manage Out Underperformers
Achieving Sales Excellence
© 2015 Endeavor Management. All Rights Reserved.
Page 3
What’s Required?
The goals are pretty clear for most sales leaders. What is not
clear is the best way to achieve those results in an
accelerated timeframe. If this sounds like your organization,
if you did not hit your numbers last year, or if you have high
growth targets for the future, you may be scratching your
head wondering what to do next while you are
simultaneously stomping out the current fire.
Here is how you get ahead. There are multiple areas that a sales leader needs to explore and
understand in order to create the change and sustain the new capabilities, behaviors, tools, and
systems needed to grow. Every organization and its people are different so there are rarely two
similar situations. However, there are common themes. Using these themes, we can isolate and
identify areas of focus to accelerate the success you are looking to create.
Our Sales Excellence model takes these themes and turns them into high gain questions for the
sales leader to ask themselves and their leadership. These 5 key questions and correlating areas of
focus contribute to consistently making the top 3 goals of sales leaders achievable and creating the
Sales Excellence environment.
Do We Care About the Customer?
To answer yes, first you have to put the customer at the center of all that you do. You have to get
away from functional silos and hierarchical or imbedded roles and responsibilities that keep you
from meeting the needs of the customer.
Herb Kelleher of Southwest Airlines once said, “The customer is not always right, but they are
always the customer”. That means doing what it takes to secure the business and keep them
coming back even if you have to modify your policy or the way you currently do things. You have to
make it easy and enjoyable to buy and do business with even when the customer may not be right
or happy. This doesn’t mean throwing costs and quality out the window to please the
customer. What it does mean is find what they need, provide the outcome they desire and make
them happy so you can hit your goals. If you can keep this in mind you are on the path to achieving
sales excellence and an improved customer experience. Bain and Company analysis show that
companies that excel in the customer experience grow revenues 4%-8% above their market.
Reflections for Sales Excellence
•Do we care about our customers?
•Do we agree?
•Do we know how?
•How will we make the number?
•How do we develop our people?
Achieving Sales Excellence
© 2015 Endeavor Management. All Rights Reserved.
Page 4
Do We Agree?
With any change in goals or leadership, you can expect conflict. The good news is that if conflict is
managed effectively you can also predict that growth will follow. Organizational conflict and lack of
alignment can cause even the highest performing organizations to have less than desirable
performance. Are you aligned to meet the needs of the customer and do you know what the
internal implications could be? Do your current beliefs, behaviors, language, tools, social
structures, and the environment align to meet the needs of your customer? Agreement and
accountability is necessary if you are going to be successful in developing a sales strategy that
promotes and outlines actions needed for growth. Your sales strategy needs to be clear and
provide linkage of behaviors and goals to make the way to success visible and manageable.
Your team needs to believe in the company’s Mission, products and services. They need to value
the voice of the customer and they need to not only know where they are going but they need to
understand the “why” and the “how” to get there. Internally, it is necessary to have the supporting
tools, structures, and environment that supports a customer centric approach. Without these
elements of Culture being addressed and aligned, you will not achieve your highest level of
potential. If there is a large disparity between leadership and front line employee beliefs or people
who get to choose not to support the strategy, you are in for trouble as the internal issues will
detract from the customer and providing the sales and service needed to grow.
Do We Know How?
Your sales process should be constructed to fit your customers buying behaviors. Technology and
the information available on the internet has created a highly competitive environment and a
buyer that can be very informed with a quick Google search of your industry. The sales process is
not a linear event. There are multiple decision makers with multiple opinions and objectives that
must be considered. Your sales process needs to provide key milestones that can be defined by the
buyer’s behavior and it is necessary for you to meet them where they are in order to be helpful and
build confidence through competence. The sales process is an emotional journey and if you tap
into the buyers emotion (make them happy!) you will not only win more business but you will also
close larger deals and keep your customers longer.
It is necessary to build a customer focused sales process first, define its integration with marketing,
finance, service, back office and then see what CRM technology system best supports your sales
process needs. If your systems and processes are not producing more face to face sales time and
more wins for your sales team, you will not have full adoption. At worst, you will lose sales. At
best, productivity and efficiency will be mitigated. When this happens, you lose the ability to coach
for performance and identify the right capabilities needed to manage up or out
underperformers. Having a defined and repeatable process helps to trigger key behaviors and
capabilities needed at the right time to gain commitments in sales conversations. Keeping track of
Achieving Sales Excellence
© 2015 Endeavor Management. All Rights Reserved.
Page 5
these conversations with your CRM helps you to automate touch points for lead nurturing, know
when to provide deal level coaching, or promote incentives to move buyers who may be stuck in
one stage or another.
How Will We Make the Number?
In order to answer this question you will need to have a very clear value statements, approach
positioning and a sales strategy that creates enthusiasm, friendly competition and motivation for
your team. If anyone on your team does not like this environment, you know they are not a fit-
move them out.
Conduct a situation assessment to gather Key information to direct your strategy:
 Voice of the customer data
 Customer facing employee feedback
 Market trends and analysis
 Any other external and internal environmental factors that could either help or distract you
from hitting your number
Using this information you will need to gather common themes and set clear objectives:
Your objectives can be qualitative and/or quantitative and must link to the strategic growth areas
you will be monitoring. An example of a quantitative goal could be to have a 35% win ratio,
number of appointments per month by rep, or an average sales amount. While a qualitative goal
may be to determine and define retention plan for key clients or have new hires on-boarded with
new territories.
Your strategic plans need to support these objectives and constant measuring and monitoring
needs to be in place.
You will need to track and manage the following strategic areas:
 Customer segmentation and mix
 Pipeline management processes
 Service market coverage
 capability development and training needs
 managing team communications
These strategic elements guide your tactical day to day actions. Your strategy plans your year, so
you can plan the quarter, the month, the weeks, and the days. Doing this allows you to make
adjustments and provide feedback and coaching to make your number.
Achieving Sales Excellence
© 2015 Endeavor Management. All Rights Reserved.
Page 6
How Do We Develop Our People?
Bottom line here first- you have to do this all the time! Achievement, recognition and growth are
intrinsic motivators for full engagement. Before you answer this question you should also consider
that the buyers are more educated and closing sales today usually requires multiple decision
makers. You have to make sure you have defined the sales team players and identified the
capabilities for each role. Make plans to identify strengths needed for each:
 Outbound appointment setters
 Inside sales
 Closers
 Farmers
 Hunters
 Hybrids
Sales stage bottlenecks also help to identify needed skills and tools to help increase the velocity of
your opportunities. Sharpen the saw to keep up with new selling strategies but don’t get carried
away with the newest hit training. Make sure it is the right fit and time for you to try something
new. If you have a selling method that focuses on the customer, builds trust, and gets them
excited about the value of your product or service, you have the basics for what you need. You
may just need to tweak messaging or continue to drive skill development in small pieces to keep it
top of mind. Adult learning and blended learning techniques are always being modified so a new
fresh approach may be all you need vs. a complete overhaul.
Conclusion
Finally, be clear on the outcomes that you are looking for and reward success openly and
often. Training will provide new skills but it will take more from the sales leader and the
environment if you expect new behaviors and business results to be recognized and sustained.
Achieving Sales Excellence is a marathon and not a sprint. You must make a commitment to
continuous improvement and have the curiosity to discover and become a learning
organization. No matter where you are today, these 5 key questions will keep you grounded in
planning your future sales success, measuring your performance improvements, growing your
business and developing your people.
Achieving Sales Excellence
© 2015 Endeavor Management. All Rights Reserved.
Page 7
About Endeavor
Endeavor Management, is a management consulting firm that leads clients to achieve real value
from their strategic transformational initiatives. Endeavor serves as a catalyst by providing the
energy to maintain the duel perspective of running the business while changing the business
through the application of key leadership principles and business strategy.
The firm’s 30 year heritage has produced a substantial portfolio of proven methodologies, enabling
Endeavor consultants to deliver top-tier Transformational Strategies, Operational Excellence,
Organizational Change Management, Leadership Development and Decision Support. Endeavor’s
deep operational insight and broad industry experience enables our team to quickly understand
the dynamics of client companies and markets.
Endeavor strives to collaborate effectively at all levels of the client organization to deliver targeted
outcomes and achieve real results. Endeavor’s collaborative approach also enables clients to build
capabilities within their own organizations to sustain enduring relationships. For more information,
visit www.endeavormgmt.com

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Sales Excellence - Leaders Need More Than a Title

  • 1. Achieving Sales Excellence Sales Leaders Need More Than a Title Endeavor Management 2700 Post Oak Blvd. P + 713.877.8130 Suite 1400 F + 713.877.1823 Houston, Texas 77056 www.endeavormgmt.com
  • 2. Achieving Sales Excellence © 2015 Endeavor Management. All Rights Reserved. Page 2 Overview A definition of the term Sales Excellence is required: An engaged workforce focused on meeting customer needs which leads to consistently making your financial goals for the organization. In order to accomplish Sales Excellence, sales leaders must provide a high performance yet fulfilling work environment, align processes, systems, people, grow the top line, develop your team, and provide an exceptional experience while meeting the customer demands. A leader must accomplish all of this while dealing with communication issues, managing change, and solving growth issues (too much growth or not enough). This is why you need more than a new title to become a great sales leader and drive Sales Excellence for your organization. Most sales leaders were great sales people who were rewarded by being promoted to management. Many times without the proper support and skills training such as a leadership/management platform, appropriate performance standards and expectations, or formal job coaching. Because these new leaders don’t always have experience or know how to develop others, they have a hard time leading other sales professional’s and persuading other functional leaders in the organization on changes needed to grow the business. They have been handed the keys to drive the organization and told to quickly meet the following goals: Increase New Business Grow Existing Business Train Up or Manage Out Underperformers
  • 3. Achieving Sales Excellence © 2015 Endeavor Management. All Rights Reserved. Page 3 What’s Required? The goals are pretty clear for most sales leaders. What is not clear is the best way to achieve those results in an accelerated timeframe. If this sounds like your organization, if you did not hit your numbers last year, or if you have high growth targets for the future, you may be scratching your head wondering what to do next while you are simultaneously stomping out the current fire. Here is how you get ahead. There are multiple areas that a sales leader needs to explore and understand in order to create the change and sustain the new capabilities, behaviors, tools, and systems needed to grow. Every organization and its people are different so there are rarely two similar situations. However, there are common themes. Using these themes, we can isolate and identify areas of focus to accelerate the success you are looking to create. Our Sales Excellence model takes these themes and turns them into high gain questions for the sales leader to ask themselves and their leadership. These 5 key questions and correlating areas of focus contribute to consistently making the top 3 goals of sales leaders achievable and creating the Sales Excellence environment. Do We Care About the Customer? To answer yes, first you have to put the customer at the center of all that you do. You have to get away from functional silos and hierarchical or imbedded roles and responsibilities that keep you from meeting the needs of the customer. Herb Kelleher of Southwest Airlines once said, “The customer is not always right, but they are always the customer”. That means doing what it takes to secure the business and keep them coming back even if you have to modify your policy or the way you currently do things. You have to make it easy and enjoyable to buy and do business with even when the customer may not be right or happy. This doesn’t mean throwing costs and quality out the window to please the customer. What it does mean is find what they need, provide the outcome they desire and make them happy so you can hit your goals. If you can keep this in mind you are on the path to achieving sales excellence and an improved customer experience. Bain and Company analysis show that companies that excel in the customer experience grow revenues 4%-8% above their market. Reflections for Sales Excellence •Do we care about our customers? •Do we agree? •Do we know how? •How will we make the number? •How do we develop our people?
  • 4. Achieving Sales Excellence © 2015 Endeavor Management. All Rights Reserved. Page 4 Do We Agree? With any change in goals or leadership, you can expect conflict. The good news is that if conflict is managed effectively you can also predict that growth will follow. Organizational conflict and lack of alignment can cause even the highest performing organizations to have less than desirable performance. Are you aligned to meet the needs of the customer and do you know what the internal implications could be? Do your current beliefs, behaviors, language, tools, social structures, and the environment align to meet the needs of your customer? Agreement and accountability is necessary if you are going to be successful in developing a sales strategy that promotes and outlines actions needed for growth. Your sales strategy needs to be clear and provide linkage of behaviors and goals to make the way to success visible and manageable. Your team needs to believe in the company’s Mission, products and services. They need to value the voice of the customer and they need to not only know where they are going but they need to understand the “why” and the “how” to get there. Internally, it is necessary to have the supporting tools, structures, and environment that supports a customer centric approach. Without these elements of Culture being addressed and aligned, you will not achieve your highest level of potential. If there is a large disparity between leadership and front line employee beliefs or people who get to choose not to support the strategy, you are in for trouble as the internal issues will detract from the customer and providing the sales and service needed to grow. Do We Know How? Your sales process should be constructed to fit your customers buying behaviors. Technology and the information available on the internet has created a highly competitive environment and a buyer that can be very informed with a quick Google search of your industry. The sales process is not a linear event. There are multiple decision makers with multiple opinions and objectives that must be considered. Your sales process needs to provide key milestones that can be defined by the buyer’s behavior and it is necessary for you to meet them where they are in order to be helpful and build confidence through competence. The sales process is an emotional journey and if you tap into the buyers emotion (make them happy!) you will not only win more business but you will also close larger deals and keep your customers longer. It is necessary to build a customer focused sales process first, define its integration with marketing, finance, service, back office and then see what CRM technology system best supports your sales process needs. If your systems and processes are not producing more face to face sales time and more wins for your sales team, you will not have full adoption. At worst, you will lose sales. At best, productivity and efficiency will be mitigated. When this happens, you lose the ability to coach for performance and identify the right capabilities needed to manage up or out underperformers. Having a defined and repeatable process helps to trigger key behaviors and capabilities needed at the right time to gain commitments in sales conversations. Keeping track of
  • 5. Achieving Sales Excellence © 2015 Endeavor Management. All Rights Reserved. Page 5 these conversations with your CRM helps you to automate touch points for lead nurturing, know when to provide deal level coaching, or promote incentives to move buyers who may be stuck in one stage or another. How Will We Make the Number? In order to answer this question you will need to have a very clear value statements, approach positioning and a sales strategy that creates enthusiasm, friendly competition and motivation for your team. If anyone on your team does not like this environment, you know they are not a fit- move them out. Conduct a situation assessment to gather Key information to direct your strategy:  Voice of the customer data  Customer facing employee feedback  Market trends and analysis  Any other external and internal environmental factors that could either help or distract you from hitting your number Using this information you will need to gather common themes and set clear objectives: Your objectives can be qualitative and/or quantitative and must link to the strategic growth areas you will be monitoring. An example of a quantitative goal could be to have a 35% win ratio, number of appointments per month by rep, or an average sales amount. While a qualitative goal may be to determine and define retention plan for key clients or have new hires on-boarded with new territories. Your strategic plans need to support these objectives and constant measuring and monitoring needs to be in place. You will need to track and manage the following strategic areas:  Customer segmentation and mix  Pipeline management processes  Service market coverage  capability development and training needs  managing team communications These strategic elements guide your tactical day to day actions. Your strategy plans your year, so you can plan the quarter, the month, the weeks, and the days. Doing this allows you to make adjustments and provide feedback and coaching to make your number.
  • 6. Achieving Sales Excellence © 2015 Endeavor Management. All Rights Reserved. Page 6 How Do We Develop Our People? Bottom line here first- you have to do this all the time! Achievement, recognition and growth are intrinsic motivators for full engagement. Before you answer this question you should also consider that the buyers are more educated and closing sales today usually requires multiple decision makers. You have to make sure you have defined the sales team players and identified the capabilities for each role. Make plans to identify strengths needed for each:  Outbound appointment setters  Inside sales  Closers  Farmers  Hunters  Hybrids Sales stage bottlenecks also help to identify needed skills and tools to help increase the velocity of your opportunities. Sharpen the saw to keep up with new selling strategies but don’t get carried away with the newest hit training. Make sure it is the right fit and time for you to try something new. If you have a selling method that focuses on the customer, builds trust, and gets them excited about the value of your product or service, you have the basics for what you need. You may just need to tweak messaging or continue to drive skill development in small pieces to keep it top of mind. Adult learning and blended learning techniques are always being modified so a new fresh approach may be all you need vs. a complete overhaul. Conclusion Finally, be clear on the outcomes that you are looking for and reward success openly and often. Training will provide new skills but it will take more from the sales leader and the environment if you expect new behaviors and business results to be recognized and sustained. Achieving Sales Excellence is a marathon and not a sprint. You must make a commitment to continuous improvement and have the curiosity to discover and become a learning organization. No matter where you are today, these 5 key questions will keep you grounded in planning your future sales success, measuring your performance improvements, growing your business and developing your people.
  • 7. Achieving Sales Excellence © 2015 Endeavor Management. All Rights Reserved. Page 7 About Endeavor Endeavor Management, is a management consulting firm that leads clients to achieve real value from their strategic transformational initiatives. Endeavor serves as a catalyst by providing the energy to maintain the duel perspective of running the business while changing the business through the application of key leadership principles and business strategy. The firm’s 30 year heritage has produced a substantial portfolio of proven methodologies, enabling Endeavor consultants to deliver top-tier Transformational Strategies, Operational Excellence, Organizational Change Management, Leadership Development and Decision Support. Endeavor’s deep operational insight and broad industry experience enables our team to quickly understand the dynamics of client companies and markets. Endeavor strives to collaborate effectively at all levels of the client organization to deliver targeted outcomes and achieve real results. Endeavor’s collaborative approach also enables clients to build capabilities within their own organizations to sustain enduring relationships. For more information, visit www.endeavormgmt.com