Our organizational alignment research found that a clear sales strategy accounts for up to 31% of the difference between high and low performing sales teams.
What does this mean for you? It means that, without a clear and meaningful direction, you will struggle to consistently meet your sales targets.
Many sales teams focus on quarterly revenue targets and move too quickly to create and clearly articulate the basics of a solid sales strategy. Some sales leaders say they do not have the time. Others think sales targets combined with pressure and hard work should be enough. But when you ask sales teams what they are striving for, strategic ambiguity reigns. Unfortunately the lack of strategic sales clarity not only hampers short-term sales performance but also long-term sales team health.
So what do effective sales strategies entail? They provide crystal clear alignment with the corporate strategy. They outline the ideal target clients, value proposition, success metrics, goals, roles, processes and specific actions that should lead to superior performance. By contrast, an unclear sales strategy blurs priorities and trade-offs for sales teams. Unfortunately, most sales teams have just enough of a game plan to stay in the game...but not to win it.
A rudderless sales team drifts with the wind. It does not outperform its competition over time. It does not provide the foundation to create a high performance sales culture. And it does not consistently attract, engage, or retain top sales talent. Top performing sales reps need and want leaders to provide a strategic road map to help steer important decisions and consistently beat the competition.
To succeed, sales executives must precisely define sales goals (where the team is headed) and sales strategies (how it is going to get there). Based upon high performance research, we know that the overall goals for any team or organization must foundationally be simple, meaningful and just possible. In other words, it must be an achievable challenge worth fighting for.
The good news is that sales targets are typically very clear compared to goals of other organizational functions where it is often more difficult to measure success. While being simple, meaningful and just possible, sales targets must also be perceived as fair, transparent, accurate, and relevant. Additionally, they cannot conflict with how other teams (e.g. marketing, R&D, service, engineering, delivery, finance, legal, procurement, etc.) are measured and rewarded.
About LSA Global
Founded in 1995, LSA Global is a leading performance consulting and training firm that helps high growth technology, services, and life-science companies create a competitive advantage by powerfully aligning their culture and talent with their strategy. Learn more about getting aligned