New commercial strategy

70% of all commercial strategies fail to deliver as expected upon implementation. Following these five principles will prevent the same from happening in your organization.

It’s been estimated that 70% of all sales transformation projects fail in one way or another.

All too often, management’s great new sales strategy ends up causing frustration because of a lack of leadership commitment and attention during the implementation process, a lack of tangible sales results, or resistance from mid-level salespeople further down in the organization who don’t see the point of yet another strategy project. 

But it doesn’t have to be that way. Applying a few key principles to the sales transformation process is often all it takes to give commercial leaders the results they’re after. 

Start the implementation on day one.

After the strategy has been revealed, engage your wider commercial organization as soon as possible. Involve the salespeople in mapping the commercial maturity level of the organization and identifying the challenges in the sales setup, processes, competences, and tools. And collect their ideas on how to get the strategy executed to achieve the growth and profitability you’re after. This also helps create a sense of urgency and ensures that the people in your organization feel ownership over the changes from the start.

Remember the lead indicators.

The metrics and measurement of progressions are key to communicating the value of your strategy and winning over the sceptics in your organization. So make sure to track the lead indicators that are key to your future success (e.g., pipeline creation, win rates, sales cycle time, competence development, customer loyalty). Facts speak louder than emotions!

Get some quick wins.

Actual sales results, realized throughout the transformation process, will enable you to maintain momentum and energy and overcome those moments of fatigue that often stall sales teams. That means it’s critical that you integrate new sales processes, tools, and winning standards (e.g., pipeline reviews, opportunity coaching, ride-alongs) with your sales managers early in the process. The earlier they’re implemented, the faster you’ll get the results you need to keep the transformation going.

Remember the change curve.

Nurture your commercial stars, and work on growing you average performers, which are probably about 60% of your staff. Chances are that the late adopters will follow too. Don’t expect any quick fixes, though. To succeed, you need to be both persistent and patient, and you need to focus relentlessly on communicating and engaging the sales community while demonstrating why the future will be more prosperous than the past

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