Going on a Sales Mission in 2024? Get Ready with These 4 Steps.January 29, 2024
Every B2B company goes through 4 major stages of Sales Maturity.
Unless the business commits to a Stage 3 architecture, growth remains dependent on personalities.
1. Survival Stage: Initially, sales is CEO-led, and this can go on – very successfully – for years. But growth cannot be sustained by the busiest person in the company.
2. Personality Stage: The business attracts one, at most two, highly engaged salespeople, or even people who never intended to be in sales. They do well because they enjoy the product or domain or subject matter and sales is a by-product. They have passion and expertise that translates into sales.
But the key characteristic of the Personality Stage – as the name suggests – is that the capability of the sales operation reflects the personalities of the salespeople: the company has little or no leverage in terms of building sales capability. Its why that hated sales training was ignored, forecasts are predictably unpredictable and when all else fails, discounting becomes a major tool. The instinct is to keep scouring the market for that one salesperson, but time runs out.
3. The Sales Architecture Stage: To get into this stage, the business decides to introduce a more prescriptive approach to sales measurement, execution,talent acquisition and training. It’s a top-down model.
A big pillar of the Sales
Architecture stage is the use of forecast-driven measurement, such as the
RAG or Green Zone Standard.That becomes game-changing. The principle at play is this: change the goal and you change the gain.
These “headings” exist also in the Sales Personality model, but their implementation depends on the individual sellers rather than the support or the prescription of the business.
4. The Unstoppable Stage: The goal of the Sales Architecture stage is to get every salesperson to the Unstoppable stage. It’s the Sales Architecture phase that provides the environment needed to develop individual performers, but who then collaborate to create a unique, elite level of performance.
The group starts to protect a standard of execution that sets the company apart and becomes its competitive edge. The “why” of the architecture stage becomes clear!
This journey needs to be catalyzed by a very robust 1:1 seller-direct manager relationship. Without that, you are dependent on finding the individual personalities that will create the revenue production stability required. That seldom happens, if ever, without a sales architecture. Or at least, personality alone is not a good plan of you want to do 5 year’s growth in 3 years.