If you’re a business leader thinking about undergoing a sales transformation programme consider this. Less than a third of transformations succeed as expected, with a staggering 70 percent of failures due to an organisation’s inability to adopt the required new behaviours quickly and completely.
As I reflect on this it make perfect sense. How can new processes or ways of working be implemented without breaking old habits, however well intentioned they might be? In this article management consultancy, McKinsey, argues that “businesses need to invest at least as much in organisational culture and health as in the intricacies of what will change on the ground” when embarking on sales transformations.
To drive the right organisational culture and individual behaviours you have to first understand what characteristics define a successful salesperson in your organisation.
But to drive the right organisational culture and individual behaviours you have to first understand what characteristics define a successful salesperson in your organisation. That will depend on a number of factors related to the type of sale. We define a strategic sale as having one or more of the following features;
- A value-add offer or solution sale
- A customer who is well educated in what they are looking for
- More than one buyer on the client side
- A sale that requires numerous touch points and
- Takes place over a period of time
In this complex sales environment our research shows that there are a set of core capabilities that salespeople require in order to be successful. These remain important regardless of the sales process that a business may choose to employ. These capabilities allow the individual to be proactive in managing their clients, to have meaningful conversations with senior decision makers, to share customer insights internally thereby improving the offer and to drive the sale to a successful conclusion.
In fact, for one of our clients we were able to show that salespeople with these capabilities sold 23% more per month than their peers. To find out more about what these capabilities are and how we were able to measure their impact on sales performance, read this article.
 Scott Keller and Colin Price, Beyond Performance: How Great Organizations Build Ultimate Competitive Advantage, first edition, Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2011.