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. In this blog, Jess Gamble, Client Service Director at Huble Digital, guides us on key areas of focus that should be taken into account before you start your sales transformation project
What is sales transformation?
Sales transformation is when every key sales channel is aligned with strategies for growth. This often involves combining marketing, sales operations, customer service, management and professional development to improve sales performance.
If you want to learn more, we’d recommend reading this sales transformation article by HubSpot.
Now, you may be wondering about the difference between sales transformation and sales enablement — thankfully, we’ve already explained that here.
Let’s get back to sales transformation.
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.
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!)!
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?
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 (hopefully reasonable) timeline.
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 do 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, for example:
Previous sales transformation experience
Knowledge about your industry
Knowledge about your existing or new sales software
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.
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.
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 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?
Who do we need to include in this sales transformation project?
Of course the sales team needs to be involved. We’re talking about a sales transformation project!
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.
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
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).
How are we going to monitor our progress?
You’ve got your overall business goal, you know what success will look like, the budget, timeline, and you have the objectives and KPIs that you’re working towards - you now need to ensure that you are tracking your progress against them to monitor the progress of your sales transformation project.
Monitoring your progress frequently will ensure that you’re staying on track and are moving closer to the goal. If you’re using HubSpot you could set up a Dashboard of reports that will track your KPIs so that you can easily see how you’re progressing.
Now that you have these 10 questions, you can kick off your sales transformation process and lead your sales team towards your goal!
If you’d like a partner to help you with your sales transformation process check out this page for more information about our Sales & CRM consultancy, or if you would like to talk to a member of our team, please get in touch.