There Is Nothing Like A Crisis To Drive Change
There is nothing like a crisis to drive change. But how do you use a crisis to drive great change, the right change? How do you balance the long-term plans with the urgency of the now?
We are working with a client on a way of creating lasting change by using their data to identify opportunities to close. The process is designed to take existing data, with the tech stack they already have, and create a way of following a sales path for each specific opportunity. Most companies have one sales path in their CRM that everything is forced through. I use the word “forced” on purpose. If you have a new logo you are pursuing, the path is much different than if you are introducing a new solution into an existing customer. This is a great opportunity to own your pipeline, but most CRMs are set up to measure lagging indicators, not support the sellers with sales motions that drive results.
We are working with our client on this process, and they see the path to success with it, but they are in a revenue crunch now. The crunch is critical. Without revenue and profit now, how do they bridge to the new processes? How can they continue to invest in the tools they need? How do we drive sales now, prior to finishing the project to drive the longer term?
We believe the key is to drive activities that will impact the results. The decisions must be made at the leadership level, not just at the field level. If leadership builds a strategy and expects the field sales team to interpret the strategy and execute it, it's likely to fail. This is not an indictment on field sales. They don’t have the scope to build the strategy. They have the scope to execute the strategy and the skills to do so. What can leadership do to drive sales now, without selling out the future?
Identify 20 actions per field sales rep that will drive sales.
Identify 10-15 targeted customers per field sales, based on the actions.
Identify 10-15 targeted customer the first line managers work to support field sales (not in addition to reps, but with reps).
Determine what collateral/data do the reps need to be successful?
Determine what metrics do we need? What, who, when. Measure leading indicators and then sales driven by the activities.
Once you have set these, act and see what works. Improve on the fly by measuring effectiveness.
What activities can you identify that can impact your revenue now? Here are just a few to get you started thinking.
• Targeted product with specific calls to action emails.
• Customers that have purchased less this year and start a conversation to learn why.
• Who purchased in May 2020 or May 2019 and email them to remind them we are still here.
The key is to balance the short term with the longer term. Not once did we mention dropping the price. That can pull business in from the future, but it sets up a race to the bottom on profit. Focus on what the solution you have that benefits your target customers.