What’s Missing From Your Sales Team
Beyond the basics of financial compensation and some words of encouragement, what does a sales team need to be at the top of their game?
It’s the role of a Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) to go beyond what a business thinks its sales team wants and give them what they actually need in order to be a high-performing team.
Taking a holistic approach to overseeing revenue, a CRO will take a wider view of the business’ operations, including sales strategies, interdepartmental alignments, and team culture, and provide the necessary guidance to unlock a business’ earning potential.
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Sales and strategy
Some businesses might think a quick sale that puts a bit of cash in their pocket is the best way to operate. However, the biggest strength a CRO can bring to a sales team is this – strategy.
Sales strategy is a step I see a lot of business owners skip. They think if they just drop a salesperson in front of the phones, then the challenges of getting money through the door are solved.
Hiring a salesperson isn’t the first step in the sales process. Business owners should first be asking themselves, “How?”. How many sales do you need? How are you going to go about getting those sales? And how does that journey look for the customer?
The sales process needs to align with the business’ desired outcomes. Only then can your salespeople start successfully bringing in customers.
When it comes to sales and strategy, a CRO looks at how to strategically approach the market to extract the full revenue potential.
This might include exploring untapped resources, looking at new revenue streams, making efforts to increase customer retention or upselling, or looking at new markets.
While a CRO implements these new sales strategies, they’ll also have their ear to the ground, listening to the changing business landscape. A CRO will constantly be maintaining and tweaking these strategies to ensure sustainability.
Sales and the rest of the business
The problem many businesses face is that, out of all business departments, sales is the easiest to silo themselves, which isn’t altogether surprising.
Sales teams are usually off doing what they’re meant to be doing, selling. But that also means they’re separate from the rest of what is going on in the organisation.
It’s then easy for them to become out of step with the rest of the business. And when there is misalignment within a business, you lose control of the revenue.
Sales teams need to be closely in tune with the objectives of the business and what deliverables the rest of the team are able to achieve. This is vital because they are involved with the customer before they become a customer. They set the goals and expectations, and if those don’t align with the rest of the business, revenue streams will start to slip.
Selling the dream is one thing. Making that dream happen is another.
If the sales team aren’t aligned with the teams that actually deliver on what’s been sold, they could end up selling something completely out of scope or out of the business’ capabilities.
It would be like going to a restaurant and ordering something that isn’t on the menu.
A CRO won’t be busy just deploying sales strategies. They’ll create strategies for every revenue-generating department, including marketing, branding, and customer experience. They’ll also ensure that the right products (the more profitable) are being sold, rather than the easiest ones.
Each of these departments’ strategies will be pulled together, so they’re running alongside each other.
Think of a CRO as the bridge between all departments, encouraging more collaboration.
A CRO wrangles the sales team (so to speak) and puts them back in step with the rest of the business by aligning strategies and matching KPIs, so everyone is marching along together nicely.
Sales and culture
I’ve seen businesses decked out with impressive sales teams, with each employee carrying a remarkable CV. But even with their experience and robust strategies, targets weren’t being met.
Some owners or sales managers who find themselves in this predicament will either scratch their heads or point the finger of blame at them.
Fortunately, a CRO knows how to go deeper.
While a CRO will focus on the obvious revenue-generating departments, there’s one aspect they’ll pay particular attention to – culture.
I’ve seen a lot of business owners dismiss culture as not playing a vital role in revenue, and that’s why they fail. Or they think that writing down a list of company values is all the effort they need to put into culture.
But that’s like reading a menu at a restaurant but never actually eating the meal.
Building culture within your sales team, throughout your whole business for that matter, where people actually live and breathe the values is one of the most important things a CRO will do for your business.
When it comes to revenue growth, it takes the whole business.
And it’s not about finding the quickest or the easiest ways to get revenue in. It’s about implementing the right sales strategies that deliver the highest returns.
The CRO will play a major part in creating these strategies while also acting as a bridge between marketing and sales and connecting all departments to create a cohesive team culture.
If you’re looking for help driving your revenue goals, get in touch with Attain.
Sharn Piper – CEO
M: +64 27 733 4333
Having successfully led numerous sales teams, built multiple successful businesses I know what it takes to create a sales process that is robust, repeatable and produces consistent results when applied in a consistent way.