How a CEO Rebuilds a World-Class Sales Force


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You missed the number. Now you have to address this issue at an upcoming board meeting. The board wants to know how you will solve the problem. How will you communicate to the board and shareholders that you have an answer? How do you plan to transform your sales force and correct course?

A good plan for you is a Sales Productivity Benchmark (SPB). This is a comprehensive environmental scan of your entire sales force. An SPB will give you the answer the board needs. And it will provide you with a reliable roadmap:

– Reveals strength and weakness areas
– Identifies best return for sales effort
– Provides sales benchmarks against relevant peers
– Generates improvement recommendations
– Uses diagnostic techniques and empirical data to improve accuracy of assessment
– Relies on best practices for means to close sales gaps

You may be wondering what an SPB looks like. This 22 slide Sales Transformation Guide gives you a snapshot. It contains the SPB framework, and sample outputs of previous efforts. The Guide provides a glance into a highly effective path to rebuild. It outlines a way to rebuild your sales force into a world-class organization.

Sales Transformation Guide


Obviously investors don’t like missed expectations. Revenue numbers that don’t hit the mark are not tolerated long. Board members and investors alike need leadership performance they can trust.

Your sales transformation initiative will build trust on three levels:

Probability of Success. You must show a path to improvement. Yes, there are no silver bullets. There are always risks of failure. But trying a new path is better than not doing anything at all. In fact, doing nothing is a guarantee of failure. After you conduct an environmental scan, you can calculate probability of success with confidence.

Structure. Your transformation plan needs meticulous orchestration. Accountability, transparency, and focus will not only bring results, they will engender support. Transformation by nature is an enormous undertaking. No detail can be left unattended and no risk can be ignored. Hire or assign a dedicated team to quarterback the transformation effort.

Speed. The board wants results fast. Of course they do. Show quick wins. Build trust and confidence up front. But transformation is not quick. The best strategy is one that will take time. Every experienced board member knows this. Avoid the failure-prone, off-the-shelf schemes. Speed is great, but endurance is better.

sales transformation


Monitor progress by tracking behavioral, leading, and lagging indicators.

The structure and accountabilities of your effort are behavioral indicators. They demonstrate a level of fortitude found on winning teams. It’s the sort of detailed orientation found in the pages of an NFL playbook. When it comes to transforming sales, an SPB is the most structured approach available.

Customer acquisition and share of wallet are leading indicators of success. Market share and EBITDA growth are examples of lagging indicators. Most board members covet the long term above all else. Any exit strategy depends upon a solid long term. Investors don’t get 50X returns unless the business shows proof it can achieve it.

As you explain to the board how you’ll make the number, consider the SPB. This comprehensive, environmental scan will transform your sales force. The Sales Transformation Guide gives you a snapshot of the effective solution you need. Rebuild your sales force into a world-class organization.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Dan Bernoske
Dan Bernoske serves as a Senior Consultant at Sales Benchmark Index (SBI), a sales and marketing consultancy focused exclusively on helping B2B companies exceed their revenue targets. With 13 years of experience, Dan has delivered results in business development, corporate strategy, product management, marketing, and process improvement.


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