The primary focus of sales development is on your company’s strategies for growing sales, whether they are the right strategies, whether sales management is aligned on those strategies, and whether the sales force can execute those strategies.
Other components of sales development for your company may include:
- Sales training
- Sales person selection
- Sales assessment
- Performance - Key Performance Indicators
- Sales management effectiveness
- Mapping the sales process with integration to Buying process
- Having a playbook
- Salesforce automation, contact management, or a CRM system
- Refresher education on the CRM/Contact management system
- CRM related enablement selling tools like quote and proposal generation, eMarketing or feedback surveys
Steps for improved and smarter Sales Development:
Start by mapping out an effective sales process that is aligned with how your buyers buy
Develop the sales management team so they can support the salespeople who must execute the strategies. Work on how management can lead and coach the salespeople more effectively.
An improved sales selection process can be utilized to hire salespeople who will be more effective executing the strategies. Determine who is under performing and needs to be replaced.
Sales training is used to develop those salespeople who can’t yet execute the strategies. Sales training is the most popular component of an integrated sales force development initiative. After sales training the sales managers should now be able to effectively coach their sales people to reinforce the training.
Compensation and incentives can be used to target the behaviors and activities that must change, influencing sales people to execute the strategies.
The appropriate systems and processes must be put into place to support the sales force’s mission. CRM systems are used to effectively manage account and contact relationship development, lead to sales conversion and sales opportunity forecasting and management.
One component that most companies do poorly and is the most important is accountability: holding every sales person accountable to something measurable, every day of the week. A sales force evaluation that looks at the people, system, processes and strategies, provides answers to ineffective sales development. In addition to identifying the issues to be addressed, this evaluation can provide excellent content for a sales plan.
Role of CRM
An effective CRM system can provide salespeople with a database and tools to keep track of their work schedules, their developed business relationships and to quickly view their open and closed/won sales opportunities – compared to sales quotas. So they become aware of their accountability. Sales management can be alerted of slow moving opportunities and be more proactive in coaching and leading the sales team.
When integrated Sales Force development and modern day CRM systems are utilized:
Companies will see a dramatic improvement in effort, urgency, consistency and results.
Companies will see an improvement in morale, retention and selection.
When integrated sales force development and CRM has been made a part of the company’s culture, sales and profits will sky rocket.
Too Many Failing Points:
Too many companies fail to work on any of these components of sales force development. Some companies continue to change strategies when one after another fail. Or they’ll implement an “out of box” CRM system and fail to follow the 18 requirements to CRM Success.
Strategies fail where there isn’t alignment and the people can’t execute the new strategy. Too many companies provide sales training, but fail to provide it in the context of the strategies and before sales management, systems and processes have been fortified. Some companies see compensation as the key, failing to provide people with the skills and tools to take advantage.
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Please share what you are doing in your business CRM that improves Sales Development?