As a sales performance improvement consultant, I have come to anticipate certain questions during different phases of every client engagement. After the assessment process is complete, the needs of the client identified, and the strategy co-developed, I can see the question brewing in the client sponsor’s eyes and I know what they are going to say next – I love this approach, I believe 100% this is the direction we must head to achieve our goals, but how do we get buy-in from our reps?
How do we ensure they are 100% focused on this strategy?
Whenever an organization institutes a new sales strategy, this question will arise. Sales leaders know that if their people are not 100% focused on the new strategy that human nature will lead them back to what is familiar, the old strategy. If you want to ensure successful adoption and execution of a new sales strategy this year, you must ensure your people’s focus is on the new strategy all the time. At SOAR Performance Group, through our sponsorship of the Atlanta Chapter of the Sales Management Association, we have developed two keys to ensure focus in the sales organization on the strategy.
Key #1 is ensuring the strategy is clear and is devoid of any vague messaging.
If your sales reps cannot communicate the strategy back to you clearly in one or two sentences, your strategy is in peril. To drive even greater focus on the new strategy, clearly communicate what activities your team needs to start doing to make the strategy a success and clearly communicate what activities your team needs to stop doing to make the strategy a success. Adding more to your team’s plate without clarifying what is no longer a priority reduces focus and slows down execution.
Key #2 is leading by example.
For the strategy to be a success, the sales leaders in the organization must exhibit the focus and behavior necessary for the strategy to be successful. It is a lot like being on one of those great sports teams that seems to take on an identity of its own. This team identity grows out of the leadership of the coaches and early leadership of certain players. As the momentum builds, this team identity becomes adopted by more and more players, until that team identity becomes a source of pride among everyone in the team’s entire organization as they execute the winning strategy.
Follow these two keys to creating focus and soon your sales force will take on the team identity needed to drive successful execution of the new strategy in the new year. Just remember to be clear and exhibit the behaviors necessary for success.
*This post is Part 2 of a 6 Part Series on “New Year, New Sales Strategy: How can sales leaders drive successful execution of new sales strategies in the New Year?” The content of this article has been developed by SOAR Performance Group through its sponsorship of the Atlanta Chapter of the Sales Management Association. Key input for the article was derived from a recent Atlanta Chapter meeting and can be attributed in part to Atlanta Chapter members and discussion leaders from Ricoh, UPS, Equifax, PWC, Aon Hewitt, Google, Vantedge, and Georgia State University.
See more in the series on new sales strategy:
- Getting Off to a Quick Start with a New Sales Strategy
- Creating Focus in the Organization on the New Sales Strategy
- How to Communicate and Cascade the New Sales Strategy
- How to Remove Barriers for Successful Execution of the New Sales Strategy
- How to Connect Strategy and Compensation to Ensure Success of the New Sales Strategy
- Adapting the Sales Strategy Execution to a Changing Business Environment