25.02.2021

Sales & CRM

Questions to ask before a sales transformation project

13 min read

Jess

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So, you've decided that you want to undergo a sales transformation project. This is exciting news!

But first, let's make sure we're all on the same page by defining what sales transformation is.

Take for example the successful sales transformation in the case of Netflix. Originally a DVD rental-by-mail service, Netflix transformed its business model to become a streaming video service provider, leveraging the growth of the internet and the decline of physical media.

This strategic shift allowed Netflix to vastly expand its customer base and open new revenue streams.

The benefits of Netflix's sales transformation are profound: increased customer satisfaction through a seamless streaming experience, improved operational efficiency by streamlining digital operations, enhanced revenue generation from subscription fees and advertising, and a significant increase in market share, establishing Netflix as a dominant force in the streaming video industry.

In this article, we will explore the essential aspects of sales transformation, outlining the steps, strategies, and considerations necessary to successfully revamp your sales process and achieve transformative results similar to those of Netflix.

What’s the difference between sales transformation and sales enablement?

Now, you may be wondering about the difference between sales transformation and sales enablement:

Sales transformation involves identifying and changing specific processes as a fixed aspect of a business strategy, while sales enablement is a dynamic, ongoing effort to evaluate and refine processes, tools, and strategies to maximise sales performance.

The key difference lies in viewing business strategy as either requiring periodic attention (sales transformation) or continuously evolving (sales enablement).

Let's get back to sales transformation.

14 questions to ask before a sales transformation project

Now, there are several questions and key areas that you should focus on before embarking on your sales transformation project to ensure that it is a success.

Let's take a look at them now.

1. What is the overall business goal that we're trying to achieve with this sales transformation project?

The business goal that you're trying to achieve with the sales transformation project needs to be top of mind throughout the process.

This goal is the reason for embarking on this sales transformation process and you need to be referring back to this business goal throughout the project to ensure that the new sales process does meet your intended business goals.

An example of this business goal could be to increase sales by 15% by the end of the financial year or shorten the sales cycle by 25%. Whatever your goal, make sure it is a SMART goal (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely).

2. What weaknesses does our sales strategy have?

Your sales team must identify and address any gaps in your current sales process that are preventing you from reaching your company sales goals. Use sales data and reports to pinpoint areas of opportunity and create a plan to close these gaps.

By doing so, you can ensure that your efforts are focused on the most impactful areas for improvement. It is important to emphasise the need to transform your sales process within your existing strategies by addressing current barriers to success.

This may involve re-evaluating your approach, refining your tactics, and implementing new tools and techniques to drive better results.

By identifying and addressing these gaps, you can ensure that you are continuously evolving and optimising your sales efforts to achieve your company objectives.

Your team must remain proactive and adaptable in identifying areas for change and taking the necessary steps to enhance our sales process.

3. What does success look like for this project?

With your business goal in mind, you now need to think about what a successful sales transformation project looks like for you.

Think about how you will know that this project is complete and the business goal has been achieved. If your business goal is to increase customer acquisition — success for this project could be increasing it by 25% and ensuring that your entire sales team is following the new sales process.

Also, think about how you're going to measure this success. Will you report on the length of your sales cycle every month to see how it has changed? Or are you going to be reporting on monthly closed-won revenue?

4. What is our timeline?

You need to decide when you need this sales transformation project to be completed. Your aim could be to complete before the end of your financial year, within 3 months, before a new product launch… whatever your aim may be, ensure that you've thought about your timeline.

5. Do we have the capabilities to tackle this project internally or do we need a partner?

With your goal, success metrics, and timeline in mind, you now need to think about whether you have the internal capabilities and capacity to tackle this project internally or if you need some help.

If you're thinking about using a partner — think about what capabilities, culture and experience you would like them to have.

Different partners will have different processes, and as you're looking for a long-term partner (not just a supplier) “fit” is crucial.

For example, at Huble Digital we would talk to you about what you're looking to achieve and create a bespoke proposal for you and your company that would help you achieve your business goals.

6. What is our budget for this project?

Whether you're tackling this project internally or engaging with a consultancy (like us, hiiii!) for your sales transformation project, it's important to think about your budget.

How much time and money are you willing to spend to transform your sales processes and move towards achieving your business goals?

A good partner can be flexible with your budget, so it is worth discussing with them what you want to focus on first, what is essential, what is “nice to have” and what you might be able to take in-house with some guidance.

7. Does the software being used within the sales process meet our objectives?

If you want results, you need the right tools.

But to get the right tools, you need to ask the right questions.

For many businesses, the software being used to manage the sales process will dictate how well it achieves certain things.

Some provide complex yet powerful functionality, others integrate seamlessly with everything you do.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

  • What software are you using in your sales process?
  • Does this software meet all of your needs?
  • Does this software offer sales automation tools?
  • Does this software help your team to work towards the business goal?
  • Does this software need to integrate with any other technology your business is using?
  • Are you getting accurate reporting on your sales activity from this software?

8. Who do we need to include in this sales transformation project?

Of course, the sales team needs to be involved. This includes sales reps, sales managers, and sales leaders. We're talking about a sales transformation project after all!

That said, other stakeholders can affect the project's success. For example, a finance director will want to know the cost of the project.

The marketing team will want a clearly documented marketing-to-sales lead handover process.

And the CEO will want to have summaries and detailed breakdowns of monthly and quarterly reporting – particularly for board meetings.

Ultimately, you want everyone on board and you want to be transparent.

9. Are marketing and sales aligned?

Aligning sales and marketing teams is crucial for successful sales transformation. Coordinating the efforts of these two teams ensures a seamless customer journey, which is essential for attracting and retaining customers.

When sales and marketing are aligned, it helps to create a consistent message and experience for the customer, leading to increased trust and loyalty.

Collaboration between sales and marketing also impacts the sales process by aligning goals, strategies, and tactics. This coordination allows for a more targeted approach to lead generation and customer communication, ultimately driving higher conversion rates and sales.

Additionally, involving other stakeholders, such as product development or customer support, in the sales transformation process is vital for its success.

These teams can provide valuable insights and input that can further enhance the customer experience and drive sales growth.

10. What are our objectives and KPIs?

From the business goal, and what success looks like for this project you can now detail out the objectives and KPIs for this project (and beyond!).

Examples of KPIs can be:

  • % Increase in number of sales proposals created
  • % Increase in the number of sales meetings
  • % Decrease in number of days to close for closed-won deals

11. How will we roll out the new process for optimal uptake?

This is something to consider before you get started. If you have a large sales team, it may be more effective to trial the new process with a pilot team and get them trained on using the new sales software.

You can then use your pilot team to train the rest of your sales team – they will be bought in and make the process a lot easier).

12. How can we harness the power of OKRs?

To create a plan using OKRs for sales, start by defining the overall objectives, such as increasing revenue or acquiring new customers.

Then, break these objectives down into measurable key results, such as achieving a certain percentage increase in sales or closing a specific number of new deals.

These measurable milestones provide clear targets for salespeople to work towards.

Factors that may impact the sales strategy and the sales team's success include changes in market conditions, customer behaviour, or product offerings.

To incorporate these changes into the overall plan, regularly review and update the OKRs to ensure they remain relevant and achievable. This may involve adjusting key results or even modifying the overall objectives to align with new business realities.

By using OKRs as a goal-setting strategy, the sales team can focus on specific, measurable targets that contribute to overall company objectives.

This approach provides clarity and direction for salespeople while also allowing for flexibility to adapt to changing circumstances.

13. How are we going to monitor our progress?

Sales transformation requires careful monitoring of progress over time to ensure success. It's important to regularly track the implementation of your sales transformation goals and identify any problem areas that may arise.

Utilising sales software like HubSpot Sales Hub can help generate reports and track performance based on the OKRs you've set.

In addition to using sales software, it's crucial to organise weekly meetings with department heads early in the implementation process.

These meetings provide a forum to check progress, address any unanticipated roadblocks, and make necessary adjustments to keep the transformation on track.

By consistently monitoring progress and using the right tools, you can ensure that your sales transformation is moving in the right direction.

With the focus on tracking progress, addressing challenges, and adapting to changes, your sales team can achieve its goals and drive meaningful results.

Now that you have these 10 questions, you can kick off your sales transformation process and lead your sales team towards your goal! 

14. Do we need to upskill our sales teams?

Sales strategies need to adapt to the current market changes to stay relevant.

The impact of these changes on sales strategies is significant, as the need for upskilling and adaptability becomes more crucial than ever.

Sales training programs are essential to keep salespeople up to date with the dynamic nature of all markets.

Salespeople are the vital conduit between customers and the business in feeding back market changes. Their deep understanding of customer needs and preferences makes them essential in adapting sales strategies to the ever-changing market landscape.

This feedback loop is crucial in identifying new trends, customer demands, and competitive pressures.

To stay competitive, salespeople need to embrace upskilling and adaptability to understand and respond to market changes effectively. This includes staying updated with the latest industry trends, technologies, and sales techniques.

By continuously training and improving their sales skills, salespeople can ensure that their strategies stay relevant and their interactions with customers remain effective.

How Huble can help you with your sales transformation

Embarking on a sales transformation journey can be a game-changer for your business. However, it's essential to approach this process with careful planning, clear objectives, and an understanding of the unique challenges and opportunities your business faces.

At Huble, we specialise in guiding companies through their sales transformation journeys. Our experienced team offers bespoke sales consultancy services, providing the expertise and support needed to navigate the complexities of sales transformation.

Whether you're looking to revamp your sales strategy, integrate new technologies, or enhance your operational efficiency, our team is equipped to assist you every step of the way.

Don't let the challenge of sales transformation overwhelm you. Speak with our team, and let us help you unlock the full potential of your sales processes.

Together, we can drive your business towards unprecedented growth and success.






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