Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Building a world-class sales organization

Most sales teams are under-performing. The shift in our markets and buying patterns is frustrating many organizations. Sales in most sectors are down. Even where sales are up, there's a gnawing feeling that it may not last. Increasing sales often mans taking business away from competitors and takes more than "differentiating" ourselves or "making more calls."

In the past two months I learned of organizations that have invested in technology (CRM, automated marketing etc.) to the tune of several million dollars and are wildly dissatisfied with the outcomes. One organization invested over 2 million dollars over a two-year period and just shut the whole project down. It's over - done. No increase in sales, no account penetration, no time saved for salespeople, no maximized time in front of qualified prospects, no shorter sales cycle. . . OOOPS!

The sad truth is that this was avoidable and unnecessary.

Building a world-class sales organization requires a synchronized approach using three main components - People, Sales Process, and Technology. Failure rates of CRM installations is as high as 50%. Organizations buy the software, install it and try to get salespeople to "buy-in." They are often faced with sales pitches on the technology that over-promise and under-deliver. It's the human factor that baffles technology types and technology baffles the people or process types.

The good news is that it's possible to synchronize all three components, at about a half to one-third of the cost most people invest in technology alone. While it's not easy to implement [if it was, everyone would be doing it], but it's simple to do. The major errors are simple to fix, but I warn you, this approach is counter-intuitive. Don't be fooled by its simplicity. A warning, it does require focus and discipline, but successfully building a world-class sales organization is actually easier than what it took to be in the 50% failed installation group.

We're not going to hold anything back here - we'll put it all on the table!

Click here to hear Part 1: Building A World-Class Sales Organization

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