By Paul D’Souza
Have you leveraged Sales 3.0 technologies in your sales organization? Have you deployed any yet? Or have you found yourself having to rethink some of your projects because they were not going as planned?
Based on my experiences (and I typically work with companies that generate less than $50 million in annual revenue), every company has its own set of issues to deal with. Here are three potential problem areas to watch out for.
#1: Organizational Structure
The new breed of marketing and sales tools to which we have access today allow us to engage with clients in very different ways. Our ability to impact and improve the customer experience warrants that we revisit and redesign how we are structured. Take a step back and review your organizational structures to determine if they support the new approaches you can take to engage and serve your customers. Are you engaging with your prospects and building relationships of trust during your marketing activity? Has the sales process begun?
Start with your go-to-market strategy and chart your new customer journey. Do this in a vacuum regarding your current organizational structure. Once you have charted your customer journey and have a good understanding of the tech-stack needed to engage them, review it against your current organizational structure. Does it map? You might need to redesign your organizational structure to map to the new Sales 3.0 go-to-market strategy.
Your Sales 3.0 strategies will lean heavily on your tech-stack, so make sure your people teams are structured to pick up from where they drop a customer off for you to interact with. Break down your traditional organizational silos and align your people teams. You might also want to compensate your staff differently so they show up to serve your clients who are engaging with your brand.
Remember: There are no sales cycles anymore – just buying cycles – and your sales strategies and sales processes need to map to them.
#2: Disconnected Tech-Stack
The best way to orchestrate an effective customer experience is to integrate all your data. Think continuity and compatibility. It is getting easier, but it still takes some effort to make sure you have continuity of data and information to ensure your customers have a good experience engaging with you and your brand. Your technical teams can figure this out, but ask them to integrate applications and give you access to the data so you can design effective customer journeys and monitor customer engagement.
Very often IT systems are focused on the needs of specific departments and they miss the big picture of focusing on the customer and their “experience.” So start linking your departments together structurally and then redesign how your technology systems will serve your new business model and your go-to-market strategy. It’s about having the right tool set.
#3: People Skills
This is a common problem area when embracing Sales 3.0 strategies. By definition, a Sales 3.0 strategy will be anchored in a technology solution that produces actionable data for someone on your team to act on powerfully. In most cases, the quality of this data will be higher than was previously available. The question is: Are your people trained to take the right action and leverage this information in a timely manner so you can move the needle on your revenue and profitability?
As an example, a common Sales 3.0 strategy will highlight a short list of customers who are ready to receive a phone call or your “next best offer” based on their activity and the activity of customers just like them. Are your salespeople trained to be respectful of the timelines or the “window of opportunity” to make these calls and engage with this subset of primed customers – and skilled enough to make them this special offer? Please don’t make assumptions here. Review the skills needed and the SOPs your people will follow to make the most of these accelerators a Sales 3.0 strategy could provide you. This is where having the right mindset and the right skill set comes into play.
For Sales 3.0 strategies to work, one must select the right tools and have them configured to serve your customers and your business. The key objective is customer engagement and the key outcome is accelerated, focused activity that should increase the effectiveness and efficiency of your people teams. Do this in phases – constantly iterate.
Founder of the D’Souza Group’s Delivering Peak Performance and author of the award-winning book, The Market Has Changed: Have You?, Paul helps business leaders take themselves and their teams to peak performance levels of activity by improving their sales strategy, sales process, and mindset.