As companies try to gain or maintain competitive edges, their sales organisations are challenged to identify and react to change. While adaptive sales organisations are considered revolutionary today, they'll become table stakes for survival.
Here are four major characteristics shared by organisations that already have made the transition to adaptive sales.
1. Sales teams agree on a common approach.
Reaction to change is quicker and more concise if salespeople perform tasks within sales cycles in a consistent manner, employing the same skill set and messaging. Uncertainties rule in selling. As sales reps attempt to persuade organisation to buy their offers, sellers have influence without authority over buyer actions.
A defined process provides a fairly common lens through which to see all opportunities and sales situations.
2. Companies measure results.
Sales organisations have tracked and will evaluate budget performance into decimal points. We now recognise that YTD position against budget is a trailing indicator, analogous to driving a car while looking in the rear-view mirror. Adaptive organisations look much further upstream to understand how efforts and outcomes relate.Therefore, they seek to measure sales actions and buyer reactions in areas of leading indicators.
Business development provides one measurable example. Suppose a company has an average four-month sales cycle, and sales leads generated are 50 percent off during two of those months. Crisis looms unless leadership takes corrective action.
Adaptive organisations study increments in weeks or even days to identify any shortcomings that could affect revenue further downstream in their pipeline.
3. Leaders identify what is/isn't working.Sellers who fall below budget often are over-optimistic when qualifying “opportunities.”
As they prepare for pipeline reviews with their managers, they're more concerned about quantity than quality. Adaptive organisations seek different data points. If buyer actions can be measured in response to consistent seller efforts, companies can analyze the information over time to identify what works well and what doesn't. Successful activities become "best practices" within the organisation, while unsuccessful tactics are changed or eliminated. The key is basing decisions on objective measures (buyer reactions), not subjective factors (seller opinions).
4. The business continuously evolves.
Markets, competitors, buyers and economic conditions all are in an unending state of flux. What works today may yield poor results next quarter. Adaptive sales organisations have the ability to tweak approaches on an ongoing basis. They measure buyer reactions and change on a nearly constant basis. If these companies try something new, they want to succeed or fail quickly so they can adopt or adapt approaches. Small sample-lot testing allows them to succeed even during times of high risk and uncertainty.When testing is done on leading indicators, companies enjoy longer runways than their competitors.
Adaptive sales organisations realize they must evolve or risk extinction. The majority of the time, they look to the road ahead and use leading indicators. They reserve the glances in their rear-view mirrors to make course corrections within feet, not miles. This combination enables them to confidently drive forward, hitting or exceeding their revenue targets.If you would like to know a little more "About Mark", please follow the link for a brief profile view.
Predictable Success can examine your sales processes and deliver an accurate road-map after determining where you’re on track and where you need a course correction. Predictable Success can provide a cost/benefit analysis and expert recommendations to improve your sales performance on every level.