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Sales Model Redesign - Insights from Three Sales Organizations

In the past 18 months I have helped three companies install new Sales models. The work included stepping back and articulating market changes that were impacting sales/renewals, outlining the current sales motions and operating models, outlining future-state models that will close gaps and better drive sales outcomes, clarifying the roles and infrastructure necessary to execute the new models, and building capability and success profiles that serve as the foundation for talent selection, development, and retention programs.

Although these companies were in three different industries, the diagnostic, problem solving, and solution design processes were highly consistent. Here are my insights from these process steps:

It all began with achieving clear alignment on the core challenges or opportunities facing the sales teams. Getting on the same page to consistently frame the challenges and opportunities and reconciling multiple perspectives on what the core issues are, and the underlying root causes driving those issues, was necessary to establish the strategic rationale for the model transformation.

Build a clear picture of the future-state model/motion. This is the plan and value proposition that will address gaps to drive marketplace value. It’s the end-to-end workflow processes, core roles and responsibilities, and inter-dependencies with infrastructure and supporting functions.

Take the time to also outline a clear picture for the current model. Changing a sales model, or any operating model for that matter, is a transformation. It’s generally helpful to make the from-to differences clear so people can easily see what the transformation means to them. It’s reasonable to think that this is unnecessary extra work, but it can go a long way to ensuring everyone knows how to adjust.

Identify examples that illustrate excellence (in key roles) for the future-state model. This is critical to the successful execution of the new model. Study these examples as objectively as possible so they can be leveraged to establish a clear understanding of capabilities that drive success. This also serves as the foundation for building talent selection, development, and retention programs, which are critical to maintaining the model long-term.

Finally, leverage managers as they are the greatest source of leverage in implementing and executing the new model. If they don’t fully understand the model, the rationale, and are not fully engaged, the intended results will surely be delayed and/or sub-optimized.

These insights may seem obvious, but from my experience achieving a few of them in particular are easier said than done! There are lots of sales models out there to emulate, but the trick is finding the one that best aligns to sales strategy and market value proposition.

My role as a management and organization performance consultant is to lead and facilitate a process for sales leaders to evaluate the right issues and make the best decisions to drive results and value. I hope this post resonates and helps you articulate a path going forward for your organization. To learn more about the approach and the process, feel free to get in touch.

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