Sales Leadership - Linking Sales Strategy to Sales Results

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While most organizations have articulated some form of a sales strategy, research has determined that 35 – 40% of organizations do a poor job communicating the strategy and goals in a way that makes them meaningful and understandable to others in the organization. In fact, for many organizations, the link between sales strategy goals and salesforce execution is often missing. Logical steps can be taken to ensure that execution actually supports the sales strategy.

“When all is said and done, too often, much is said and little is done.”

— Anonymous

Sales executives must coordinate a myriad of important factors to successfully reach their desired market. To name a few, they must have a product or service that meets customer needs and quality standards, is competitively priced, and has adequate distribution. Unfortunately, the sales executive has little direct control over most of these. The sales executive does, however, control how effectively the organization’s salesforce “touches” and influences the customer. The sales executive can ensure that the field salesforce has all the capabilities and resources to sell to potential buyers. How can this be done?

This article addresses areas in which disconnects may occur. It gives an overview of our sales leadership model and addresses seven questions that reflect the model, which can result in a profound strengthening of sales leadership by linking sales strategy to sales results.

1.) How do you create a clear link between the overall organizational strategy and the sales organization’s specific sales strategy?
2.) How do you make sure the sales strategy is known and understood throughout the salesforce?
3.) How do you ensure the salesforce has the capabilities required to execute the sales strategy?
4.) How do you make sure the sales strategy forms the foundation for planning and focusing sales resources at thefield level?
5.) How do you make sure the sales organization’s leadership policies and practices support the effective execution of mission-critical sales behaviors?
6.) How do you ensure your salespeople understand how their sales practices and behaviors make possible the achievement of the organization’s sales strategy?
7.) What mechanism can you put in place to track progress towards sales goals that will ensure accountability for, and adherence to, sales practices and behaviors?

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