What Does Success Look Like for Your B2B Sales Organization?

Consider what it will look like for your B2B Company to become the next sales dynasty in your industry:

  • Your customers know how to find you when they are ready.
  • They respect and enjoy the time they spend with your salespeople.
  • They readily purchase from your company over your competitors because of the high value they receive.
  • Sales and marketing productivity improves regularly; there is a sense of confidence about the future.
  • Management has clear evidence around the common, high-impact issues that will grow the business.

These are the characteristics of operational excellence applied to sales and marketing. As it turns out, the same logical methods that work in operations are even more effective in sales and marketing, because in addition to eliminating waste, cost, and lead time, they enable companies to increase perceived value, prices, and sales productivity in the bargain.

In short, they make it possible to manage and predict business growth.

There will be some surprises along the way, however. As operationally excellent companies like Toyota and many others have found in their manufacturing operations, actually achieving the desired future state depends far more on changing how you think than on how much you spend on initiatives like CRM software, sales training, lead generation campaigns, and the like.

Here are just two examples from our files:

  • A water filtration company had been unaware of a huge internal bottleneck: The company achieved its initial success through its distribution channels, so the customer service staff was oriented toward servicing distributors. As a result, when a national accounts program was initiated the account managers found they had to spend 80% of their time servicing (making sure their customers got what they were promised on time) rather than finding and wining new national accounts. 

    Once the evidence exposed this bottleneck and it was alleviated, national account managers were able to prioritize their time where it could do the most good – in finding and winning new accounts.

  • A B2B software company’s growth had slowed, despite installing a sales process from a nationally recognized sales training company and ramping up pay-per-click spending dramatically. An assessment of their new account sales process revealed two fundamental causes: First, their sales process was designed to push people into doing things they were not ready to do (instead of pulling them along with offers for valuable information and assistance). Second, their sales process included no operating definitions around high-quality versus low-quality prospects, meaning the salespeople had no consistent method of prioritizing their accounts and their time. 

    After the sales process was improved and redeployed, it enabled salespeople to pull the highest quality prospects through the funnel. New account sales productivity and the close ratio increased more than 40%, deal size increased 12%, and forecast accuracy exceeded 90%.

Without a common framework for identifying what creates waste, and what creates value in sales and marketing, companies end up working at cross purposes internally. The result is lots of opinions, turf battles, and very little real progress.

What needs to happen instead is to achieve respectful agreement around the best currently known ways of achieving your goals, and then a means for management to continually make changes that result in measurable improvements.

It does not have to be huge change accomplished quickly. It does have to be the right kinds of changes, led by your people, at a pace you can absorb most effectively.

To request a Mini-Assessment that will provide actionable insights about your sales process, please inquire about an Initial Consultation.

We look forward to hearing from you.