I was working with a company recently which implemented a sound and aligned structure around sales process, including account planning; sales call planning and value proposition development. After a strong sales year the COO was struggling with why the original growth they had achieved was not being sustained. After digging deeper into the sales organization, we found the team falling back into their original approaches to opportunities without following the programs methodology for winning new clients.
Sustained results require management to have a clear vision for sales execution and an obsessive expectation with the sales team to follow the new sales process. Simply implementing a sales process without holding the teams accountable will not deliver sustained results over time. Management must understand the sales process, then inspect and expect the process to be followed. For instance, approving travel for a sales call without a sales call plan being prepared in advance encourages sales representatives to “wing it” when making customer calls. Preparation is critical to effective sales calls and demonstrates to the customer the company’s commitment to their objectives. Management also needs to conduct routine account strategy reviews to assist the team in developing effective acquisition plans.
Management holds the key to sustained results for the company. Build a sales process that works for the organization. Then hold the team accountable to follow the plan every day. Make sure the plan includes effective pipeline management, account and opportunity plans, sales call plans and value propositions that speak to the objectives of the targeted customer. You will be amazed at how quickly your results get back on track.