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Sales Effectiveness Audit Assessing your Approach to Sales Performance Improvement


Activatum is exclusive partner of Imparta Our solutions within Sales & Leadership Effectiveness Programmes are based on Imparta’s award winning and globally researched concepts and tools. Our Sales Methodologies and Academy Processes are based on proven approaches within Blended Learning and we work in close partnership with Imparta and their global team of consultants.


Imparta White Paper distributed by Activatum – Sales Effectiveness Audit

Introduction Imparta’s Capability Building® System underpins the world’s most successful sales, marketing and service academies. It provides a rigorous methodology and a modular toolkit to ensure that training has a significant and lasting impact on your business. It is scalable from a single workshop to a global Academy, and if you wish to keep things in-house, your own teams can also be certified in the use of the System.

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The model embedded in the Capability Building® System can also be used to help assess your own current approach to sales performance improvement. This document is designed to provide an overview of where the opportunities might lie. It can be used as a formal or informal assessment, or as a structure for a group discussion.

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Imparta White Paper distributed by Activatum – Sales Effectiveness Audit

1. Who: Involving the right people and aligning the teams The sales function can encompass many individual roles, and has to work closely with a wide range of other functions. For example, technical and support personnel play an important part in the ‘team sell’; customer service staff can identify sales opportunities; marketing staff need to be closely aligned so that propositions and collateral suit the sales approach being used; sales managers must coach their teams on an ongoing basis, and sales leaders need to role-model desired new behaviors. The following table explores which groups are aligned with your current sales methodology, and which have been included in your most recent sales training. Groups/Functions

Aligned

Trained

Business Leaders Sales Managers Salespeople Account Managers Customer Service Other sales e.g. Bid Support Technical Service Marketing (esp. Proposition Development and Pricing) Human Resources Finance (forecasting) Totals (max 10 in each area) Your Organisation’s Overall Performance: Weak (0-5) Moderate (6-10) Strong (11-15) World Class (16-20)

Action Points:

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Imparta White Paper distributed by Activatum – Sales Effectiveness Audit

2. Why: Clarity around business objectives The following questions address whether the key business objectives for sales performance improvement have been identified and communicated to the organisation. Skill/Capability

Not Done (0 points)

Informal (2 points)

Formal (4 points)

Clear business goals, for example: • Increased lead generation • Increased average account size • Improved win rate • Reduced cycle time • Improved margin • Improved customer satisfaction Business goals used to define competencies and competency goals Business objectives used to tailor the training and follow-up Business objectives reflected in performance management systems Business objectives communicated to all key stakeholders Total (max 20 overall) Your Organisation’s Overall Performance: Weak (0-5) Moderate (6-10) Strong (11-15) World Class (16-20)

Action Points:

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Imparta White Paper distributed by Activatum – Sales Effectiveness Audit

3. What: Covering the right skills Salespeople, account managers and business developers need modern, buyercentric selling skills to help them identify opportunities and create value for their customers. They also need a range of enabling skills to help them perform at a high level. For example, there is little point encouraging your salesforce to “engage with the C-Level”, if they do not have the business acumen to be credible once they’re there. Below is a list of some of the main skills required in a typical salesforce. Complete the grid to help you gain a sense of where any skill gaps may lie (clearly, there are more accurate ways of measuring capabilities; this is an indication only). Skill/Capability

Limited (0 points)

Moderate (2 points)

Strong (3 points)

World Class (4 points)

Foundation sales skills (planning, rapport building, listening, questioning and probing) Modern, buyer-centric value selling skills (understanding the customer’s business, uncovering needs, identifying and managing buying criteria, alleviating risks) Business acumen (being able to understand the customer’s business needs in depth and quantify the benefits you bring) Commercial acumen (understanding the financial impact of their activities, e.g. discounting, on your business) Product/service training (that is aligned to your sales methodology, i.e. teach me how to sell the new product, not just what it is) Sales manager skills in coaching (specifically coaching around your sales methodology) Other sales manager skills (e.g. pipeline & territory management) Strategic account planning (for very large or multi-regional accounts) Negotiation, covering both win-win and positional techniques Customer service (and the service-to-sales transition) Totals (max 40)

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Imparta White Paper distributed by Activatum – Sales Effectiveness Audit

Your Organisation’s Overall Performance: Weak (0-10) Moderate (11-20) Strong (21-30) World Class (31-40)

Action Points:

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Imparta White Paper distributed by Activatum – Sales Effectiveness Audit

4. When: Managing the change process Achieving a real change in sales performance is, without doubt, a change process. You need to create a clear motivation for the change, but in addition to that, individuals will react in various ways to that change, from positive (‘It’s about time!’), to negative: (‘I can’t believe this is happening – how dare they!’). These reactions need to be anticipated, identified/validated and dealt with in a proactive way. Skill/Capability

Not Done (0 points)

Informal (2 points)

Formal (4 points)

Assessing current competency levels Communicating the need for change and the nature of the change to take place, plus “what’s in it for me?” Anticipating and pre-empting reactions on an individual basis, from the top down Identifying and creating champions to help influence the organisation Ongoing communication of success stories A clear programme or Academy infrastructure that makes it clear that ‘this is here to stay’ Totals (max 24) Your Organisation’s Overall Performance: Weak (0-6) Moderate (7-12) Strong (13-18) World Class (19-24)

Action Points:

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Imparta White Paper distributed by Activatum – Sales Effectiveness Audit

5. How: Going beyond simple training to build skills The quality of a training programme – its design, content and focus on specific behavioural outputs – can have a strong impact on the results achieved. In any change programme there are two main sets of issues to address: issues of motivation (or ‘will’), and issues of ability (‘skill’). In addition, coaching plays a critical role in maintaining momentum and fine-tuning both skill and will on a day-to-day basis. Use this grid to assess your organisation’s approach in these areas. Related issues around reinforcement, impact measurement and aligning systems are covered in further questions below. Skill/Capability

Limited (0 points)

Moderate (2 points)

Strong (3 points)

World Class (4 points)

Online or offline pre-work used for rapid knowledge transfer and later reinforcement Experiential training (e.g. role-plays, simulations) to build real skills. Training tailored to the business and to individual sales roles, to ensure relevance Skills applied during and straight after training. Success is more likely while skills are fresh. Quarterly ‘campaigns’ focusing on one skill each can drive impact and help weaker staff. Totals (max 20) Your Organisation’s Overall Performance: Weak (0-5) Moderate (6-10) Strong (11-15) World Class (16-20)

Action Points:

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Imparta White Paper distributed by Activatum – Sales Effectiveness Audit

6. Where: Coaching and reinforcing in the field Training on its own is not enough. Refined sales approaches need to be coached by Sales managers and supported by a range of structures, systems and processes in the rest of the business. Which of the following does your organisation do? Skill/Capability

Not Done (0 points)

Informal (2 points)

Formal (4 points)

Ongoing learning resources for reinforcement Train Managers to Coach/Coaching Culture Manage coaching quantity and quality, through ‘coach the coach’ sessions and analysis of coaching reports. Reconnect sessions to drive adoption Account and Deal Clinics Use sales competencies as a basis for hiring and assessment Use competencies or other skill-based accreditation in incentives, reviews and performance management Account planning tools to integrate value-based selling into the workflow Integration of language and ideas with CRM system and pipeline/forecasting tools Parallel career track for ‘super salespeople’ with poor sales management and coaching skills Totals (max 40) Your Organisation’s Overall Performance: Weak (0-10) Moderate (11-20) Strong (21-30) World Class (31-40)

Action Points:

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Imparta White Paper distributed by Activatum – Sales Effectiveness Audit

7. How much: Measuring and managing performance impact The old saying ‘you get what you measure’ was never more true than in sales effectiveness. The Kirkpatrick approach to measuring sales effectiveness provides a good structure and allows you to close the loop, taking action in areas of ongoing weakness. Be ambitious, though. Effectiveness comes from what people do, rather than just what they know, so it is important to measure what you care about. Contrary to popular belief, it is also possible to measure business impact in a variety of ways. Which of the following does your business use? Skill/Capability

Not Done (0 points)

Informal (2 points)

Formal (4 points)

Level 1: Was the training good? • ‘Happy sheets’ (that someone actually reads and does something about) • ‘Likes/changes’ feedback during sessions • Regular course updates on the basis of feedback Level 2: Have people learned the skills? • Quizzes. These should focus on application (what would you do in situation x?) rather than definition (what is value?) Level 3: Are people applying the skills? • Manager assessment against competencies • Field assessment by third party • Assessments using simulations or telephone-based role-plays Level 4: Is there business impact (and ROI)? • Analysis of target metrics before training and the trend afterwards • Correlation of quota performance against competence measurements • Attribution of success to new skills in case studies (a surprisingly useful approach) Sales Managers: should have similarly balanced scorecards, though theirs would have to include coaching ability and team performance Totals (max 20) Your Organisation’s Overall Performance: Weak (0-5) Moderate (6-10) Strong (11-15) World Class (16-20)

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Imparta White Paper distributed by Activatum – Sales Effectiveness Audit

Action Points:

Building a Plan of Action Use the following table to help you set priorities for improvement, then refer to your notes in each action plan section to identify a set of actions you might initiate. • Weak. There will be significant benefits from improvement. • Moderate. Improvements will still offer significant ROI • Strong. Seek incremental improvements that target your key success factors • World Class. Maintain and leverage performance Skill/Capability

Weak

Moderate

Strong

World Class

1. Who? Involving the Right People 2. What? Covering the Right Skills 3. Why? Clarity Around Business Objectives 4. How? Going Beyond Simple Training to Drive Real Change 5. When? Years Not Days 6. Where? Embedding into Daily Systems and Processes 7. How Much? Measuring and Managing Performance Impact

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Imparta White Paper distributed by Activatum – Sales Effectiveness Audit

How can we help you? Please contact us for further inspiration as to how we can help you grow your business further. www.activatum.com info@activatum.com Or please contact Managing Director Gitte Ravn directly on gr@activatum.com Mobile +45 4038 4949

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Sales Effectiveness Audit  

Assessing your Approach to Sales Performance Improvement

Sales Effectiveness Audit  

Assessing your Approach to Sales Performance Improvement

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