This article on executing your sales strategy is part of a 4 article series by guest author Stephen Pearson from the Cambridge, Ontario branch of Franklin Covey Co. Canada. If you are not familiar with Franklin Covey it was found by Stephen Covey he is best known for his original best selling book titled “7 Habits Of Highly Effective People”. Now here is the article....
For your sales and revenue goals, you probably know where you are now, and you probably know where you’d like to be. You probably even have some great ideas on how to get there. Go one step further and put those ideas into a coherent, comprehensive and systematic plan that involves the allocation of resources, and now you have your “sales strategy”.
Your strategy, however, is only as good as your ability to execute it. Execution is “where the rubber meets the road” and it is often where sales people, sales teams and sales leaders crash.
What steps do you need to take to maximize your probability of success? Franklin Covey has spent almost 10 years researching and developing a process to dramatically increase a team’s ability to execute on their strategy. The result is a simple, 4-step process called “The 4 Disciplines of Execution®”.
The 4 Disciplines of Execution® are:
1. Focus on the Wildly Important
2. Act on the Lead Measures
3. Keep a Compelling Scoreboard
4. Create a Cadence of Accountability
Don’t let the simple steps fool you into believing they are simple to implement, though. Often they are not simple to actually achieve. That’s because they often require a leader, and his/her team members, to think and act differently.
Let’s use a simple, generic Sales Strategy example to demonstrate how these 4 Disciplines work, and how they can help you turn your sales strategy into results.
In this first article of this 4 article series we will talk about discipline #1 – Focus on the Wildly Important
Lets Use An Example
Lets make up a scenario using a fictitious company called Company eMarketing. Lets assume this company is launching their new, breakthrough service. This service is ideal for companies in the technology sector who utilize the internet as a core part of their business activity, or product/service. The pricing and scope of eMarketing's new service makes it appropriate for companies of 100 employees or larger, or revenue of $1 million/year. The ideal decision makers for considering this product include such titles as: VP of Product Development; VP of Operations; VP of Software Engineering; or a variation thereof. eMarketing wants to achieve $500K in sales in year 1; $1 million in year 2; and $4 million by year 5. They have selected team of 5 key sales reps to train on how to position and sell this new service, and to reach key technology sectors in Ontario, Quebec and BC.
So, eMarketing has the basic elements of a general sales strategy: Target price; target market; target decision makers; revenue/sales targets & benchmarks; target locations; timeframe; skilled & trained sales team to execute the strategy and the allocation of various resources to this project.
Of course there are many other pieces that may go into a sound sales strategy, but for the purpose of this simple example the main bases have been covered here.
1. Focus on the Wildly Important
What is the wildly important goal (WIG) for this sales strategy? I.e. what needs to happen or nothing else matters?
One might suggest “The service needs to do what it says it does, and do it well.” Let’s assume that it does.
For eMarketing, they have invested 5 years of development and resources to launch this service. They need a return on their investment to stay afloat and remain profitable. So, they have decided that what matters most is hitting their revenue targets at three specific intervals in time, and exceeding them if they can. So, in this case, the Wildly Important Goal (WIG) is to hit the set 1, 2 and 4 year sales targets.
Who will be involved in making this happen? Is it just the sales team?
No, the sales team will need to work with, and rely on, customer service/client support, and the technical implementation & trouble-shooting team.
So, now the organization has identified that the sales strategy involves 3 of their departments or teams. Each one is critical for this strategy to succeed. Each of these teams should then determine their own individual team top 3 WIGs to contribute to the company’s over-arching three WIGs of hitting the three various sales sales targets. Customer service and Client Support will need to understand the new service, and how to support the client’s successful adoption. Technical implementation will need to know the various platforms this service will be integrated into, and how to do it well.
By aligning everyone to the same goals and having each department determine its own WIGs to achieve the companies WIGs it will ensure all departments in the company are working together to complete the most important tasks and activities.
This is the first and very crucial step to executing your sales strategy and generating new customers.
If you want a copy of Stephen Covey's book The 4 Disciplines of Execution or 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People for yourself to read the entire book, you can probably find it pretty cheap on amazon or eBay.
To read the next part in this four part series check back in a few days or subscribe by email to this blog to have the next article automatically delivered to your email.
Stephen Pearson is an Associate Client Partner with Franklin Covey C. Canada. He services the Ontario market including but not limited to Kitchener, Cambridge, Guelph and Waterloo helping companies to instill behaviors in their employees that help with goal and objective achievement. To learn more about achieving goals and objectives follow his blog at http://franklincoveystephenpearson.blogspot.com or check out their website at www.franklincovey.ca.
I hope you have found this blog article on executing your sales strategy informative.