Quick flashback: I’m 10 years old, thinking about being the first sub-six-footer in the NBA from Windsor, Ontario. Blasting through my sweet early ‘90s headphones, I hear:
You down with O.P.P.? (Yeah, you know me)
Who’s down with O.P.P.? (Every last homie)
Sigh. What a moving and lyrically majestic anthem.
When I think about companies who are currently focused on scaling out their sales organization or making specific tweaks to their already well-oiled sales machine, a few of the areas sales and operation leaders are re-evaluating are what I describe as P.P.T.
Who’s down with P.P.T? (Every last sales team-ey?)
Sorry. Couldn’t help it. Anyway, here’s a quick breakdown:
What is PPT?
Before we get into each more, though, a small reminder: Please don’t push aside strategy and training around any of the three pillars — this is absolutely critical for your team’s execution.
It will become extremely difficult to scale out an effective sales organization (not to mention grow revenue) without a sound training and strategy around your individual talent, processes and tools that enable your sales teams. All are absolutely critical to building and scaling a highly efficient and productive sales organization.
Below, I’ve outlined these pillars, along with a few exercises you can incorporate into your own strategy around them.
People are the core of your execution, and ensuring you have the right team members in the right functions is critical. If the people component isn’t on point, your sales house can begin to lose its foundation and impact stability (your sales culture). And nothing substantial will get done.
If you want to attract and retain the best talent that will help scale your organization, provide your people real-time feedback, daily encouragement, well-communicated career path options, professional development, a collaborative culture and consistent communication around them being an integral part of the company’s mission and growth. (I know, quite the list.)
As most are aware, getting the right people starts with hiring the right talent, too. A great exercise I personally complete when interviewing prospective candidates that might help you? (7 Traits To Look for When Hiring Sales Reps.)
As most realize, when processes are broken or sadly don’t exist, the ability to achieve the goals within your function can be severely hampered. So now is a good time to look in the mirror and ask yourself if you have the right processes in place to scale out your sales organization.
Ask yourself these questions to get started:
- Does this enhance our sales process or hurt it?
- What does our sales process look like?
- Does it accelerate the sale?
- Does it consider the customer’s buying journey?
- What is our training and development process?
- What is our lead development process?
- What is our qualification process around sales opportunities?
- Do we have a defined win/loss analysis process in place?
- How about hiring/onboarding?
In other words, do you have the right processes in place to ensure that you can deliver consistent results?
Then just make sure you’re clearly communicating those processes. One great method for this includes developing a service level agreement (SLA). When done correctly, this type of document helps to align marketing, sales development, account executives and your leadership team. (For more tips there, check out this post, featuring Wrike Director of Sales Development and well-known sales influencer, Alex Turner: Sales and Marketing Service Level Agreements: 3 Tips.)
Today, the sales world continues to be more competitive and challenging than ever before. Organizations across the world consistently work to create a “new normal” to keep up, relying on technology to drive serious increases in efficiencies, results and revenue profits.
Your sales stack technology should be dependent on your specific needs, business model and internal requirements. In other words, don’t just follow the technology buzz and fads. (Get more on that here: What to Consider When Building Your Sales Stack.)
That being said, it’s important to understand that companies should not forget the basics of selling. As much as you may want to, you cannot automate the entire sales process, and you cannot layer even the best technology on an inadequate sales process and expect it to drive additional revenue. Continuously piling on technologies is not your all-encompassing solution.
So…you down with P.P.T.?