Universal fact: High sales performance I.Q. is mandatory; companies that don’t have an effective strategy for developing that fall behind competitors that do. The required knowledge to make that happen is in short supply and strategies are often difficult to execute and achieve. In a few years, taking time to continually tweak and manage emerging strategies such as sales enablement may seem like a luxury. As a result, many executives’ confidence in their sales organization’s “Performance IQ” — their ability to harness buyer-driven change and requirements based on definable business value — is at an all-time low.
These emerging and evolving tools, processes and perspectives are worthy of focus and investment; however, in many companies, sales skills and organizational capabilities have not kept pace with the impact promise of these solutions. As the list of solutions with a promise of performance improvement has grown more expansive, company leaders are recognizing that there exists a gap between the impact ideal and the performance improvement reality.
An Achievable and Sustainable Performance Formula
The ideal is a sales organization in which everyone can take part and affect the performance agenda, and can support it. What does this look like? It’s a company in which there is workforce transparency, with a culture that encourages the kind of collaboration that supports the adoption of sales performance improvement initiatives. Insights into the sales organization’s performance dynamics, including people, processes and tools enable leaders to make discerning choices about where to invest, what to prioritize, and what is realistic to expect. The company applies its talent and capabilities to create the best performing organization for all of its customers and employees.
Simply investing into disparate tools, training and methodologies won’t get you there. Instead of spending indiscriminately, start by identifying a tangible performance goal that can realistically be addressed with existing technology, capabilities, and processes to achieve it. These three areas are where the new demands from buyers are most evident. They are all equally important; choosing to focus on just one or two won’t be enough.
Organizations that best leverage people, process and tools have a higher Performance IQ, and are the leading sales organizations. The companies that best understand cross-functional teams, have agile approaches, and prioritize resources have financial performance superior to that of their peers.