Longitude sales management build process v1.1


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Sales Management is not a “black art” - it’s a science. When viewed in this context, it is an end-to-end business process focused on aligning the entire sales organization with the goals of the company and requirements of its customers with 2 key attributes:
Defining and communicating clear objectives throughout the sales organization; and
Focusing sales pursuits primarily on prospects that are in a buying cycle

If you are selling into the B2B marketplace, the importance of sales management process is critical. B2B is an extremely predictable marketplace for those organizations that can master the process discipline. Unfortunately, 8 out of 10 companies lack the ability to effectively translate corporate objectives into focused, executable sales plans that can be replicated. At the other end of the equation, business buyers are much more sophisticated in their purchasing with more tools at their disposal to research and locate the products and services they require. This renders the traditional “hunter-gatherer” sales model completely obsolete. By employing intelligent pursuit methodologies in evaluating a marketplace, savvy sales professionals will discover that customer buying cycles are readily discoverable.
The essential requirements are as follows: any competent $30M revenue organization should be engaged in systematic sales planning and intelligent account targeting & pursuit. In addition, you need analytics to ensure that processes are working and make “course corrections”. Finally, you need a centralized technology platform for implementing sales best practices. While these concepts are not rocket science, 8 out of 10 sales organizations do not have these pieces in place.

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Longitude sales management build process v1.1

  1. 1. www.precisionsales.com.coSALES NAVIGATION: BUILD OR BUY
  2. 2. Table of ContentsSALES NAVIGATION - ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS! 1 Part 1 - The Sales Management Process! 2 Part 2 - The Components of the System! 3 Part 3 - Sales Management Infrastructure! 4 Developing Objectives! 5 Defining Performance Measures! 6 Reporting & Feedback! 6 Ensuring User Compliance! 7 Instruction and Tutorial! 7 Back End Infrastructure! 8 Part 4 - Build vs. Buy! 9 The Lo"gitude™ Sales Navigation Alternative! 9
  3. 3. SALES NAVIGATION - ESSENTIAL ELEMENTSSales Management is not a “black art” - it’s a science. When viewed in this context, it is an end-to-end business process focused on aligning the entire sales organization with the goals of thecompany and requirements of its customers with 2 key attributes:• Defining and communicating clear objectives throughout the sales organization; and• Focusing sales pursuits primarily on prospects that are in a buying cycleIf you are selling into the B2B marketplace, the importance of sales management process is criti-cal. B2B is an extremely predictable marketplace for those organizations that can master theprocess discipline. Unfortunately, 8 out of 10 companies lack the ability to effectively translatecorporate objectives into focused, executable sales plans that can be replicated. At the other endof the equation, business buyers are much more sophisticated in their purchasing with more toolsat their disposal to research and locate the products and services they require. This renders thetraditional “hunter-gatherer” sales model completely obsolete. By employing intelligent pursuitmethodologies in evaluating a marketplace, savvy sales professionals will discover that customerbuying cycles are readily discoverable.The essential requirements are as follows: anycompetent $30M revenue organization should beengaged in systematic sales planning and intelligentaccount targeting & pursuit. In addition, you needanalytics to ensure that processes are working andmake “course corrections”. Finally, you need acentralized technology platform for implementingsales best practices. While these concepts are notrocket science, 8 out of 10 sales organizations donot have these pieces in place.What follows is a distillation of the Lo"gitude™ Sales Navigation Management system devel-oped by Precision Sales Engineering. While any competent sales organization should be able toconstruct a similar system itself, Precision Sales Engineering has taken the time, effort and ex-pense to develop Lo"gitude™ in a real world sales environment that achieved exceptional salesrevenue growth. By replicating its system into an easily deployable and customizable packagedeployable initially into the Salesforce.com CRM environment, we have saved our customershundreds of thousands of dollars and years of development effort. Either way you go, this ap-proach works. The methodology is presented in three parts: Part 1 summarizes the system at ahigh level; Part 2 details the critical components of the system; Part 3 provides examples of someof the data sets that must be developed on the back end to drive the system’s intelligence result-ing in more accurate “navigation”. 1
  4. 4. Part 1 - The Sales Management ProcessAn effective sales management process has three elements (pillars): The first is a clear SalesPlanning process that communicates corporate strategy to the entire organization and establishesthe focus of sales priorities and objectives down the line. This process connects corporate strat-egy with the day-to-day activities of the sales organization and cannot be overlooked if you wantconsistent, reliable and repeatable results. Once the appropriate sales planning is in place, thenext element is an “intelligent” sales pursuit process that clarifies the scope and breadth of yourmarketplace and anticipates customer buying preferences and cycles to locate customers likely tobuy within 12 months. This element is dependent on effective customer and marketplace re-search, customer outreach, market analysis, and database cleanup to enable the organization andits sales representatives to accurately map and understand their market. Finally, all these ele-ments must be accessible in an easy to use information platform that serves as the “single sourceof the truth” for the entire sales organization. It is important to note here that virtually all compa-nies are conducting these activities somewhere - however precious few have organized them intoa single, accessible solution that gets everyone on the same page: CEOs, sales executives, salesmanagers and “feet on the street” sales representatives. 2
  5. 5. Part 2 - The Components of the SystemOverall Corporate Growth StrategyAny effective sales management system mustbegin and end with the overall corporategrowth strategy. These are the strategies thatare typically discussed at the executive levelat the beginning and end of the fiscal year.These are the strategies that guide the direc-tion of the company and set the tone and pri-orities for all activities to follow. Unfortu-nately, even well articulated corporate growth strategies become diluted as they make the journeyfrom the “executive strategy session” to the “day-to-day execution” in the trenches. Reason:there is rarely a systematic approach to execution that is well defined, repeatable and auditable toensure these strategies are reflected in all corporate sales activities. The well-defined sales man-agement system will have a precise and detailed structure for ensuring that these strategies gettranslated to a global sales performance plan that is effectively communicated to each of the salesregions and personnel. While many organizations rely on assigning this task to a responsible ex-ecutive, few have provided the physical information technology infrastructure where these in-structions reside, are executed and managed.Sales Manager PlanThe Sales Manager Plan is where the “rubbermeets the road” in implementing a corporatestrategy. This is where the high-level objec-tives break into the logical components ofexecution: (1) the precise definition of the goto market strategy, (2) risks and challenges,and (3) relevant events and milestones usedto gauge performance. In addition to thesebasic elements, the metrics used to track per-formance are critical to the success of theplan. If the metrics are not sufficiently veri-fiable or tied to day-to-day activities of the sales staff, any measure of “performance against ob-jectives” becomes functionally useless. This holds equally true for the performance analytics (re-porting) infrastructure that must be developed so that day-to-day activities are closely monitoredto ensure objectives remain in sight and course correction can be implemented before it’s toolate. 3
  6. 6. Intelligent Account PursuitOnce objectives are defined and effec-tively translated into executable salesplans, the next critical step in any salesmanagement process is “intelligent”account pursuit. The term “intelligent”is used here to differentiate from thetraditional “spray and pray” sales andmarketing model in which a customerprospect database (either purchased orinternally developed) is used as the target for repeated emails, webinar solicitations, newslettersand other communications in the hopes of spurring a request for information. Today, sophisti-cated business customers have tremendous search resources at their disposal to research productsand compare vendors. As a result, this type of “aspirational” marketing has been rendered effec-tively useless. It is far more effective and important to understand the scope of your marketplace,its decision drivers, purchasing requirements and buying cycles. Using basic research tools suchas First Rain, Data.com, etc, to conduct “primary research” and proactive outreach conducted bylow cost researchers, an effective sales organization can readily characterize their marketplace,determine which customers are in a buying cycle and proactively pursue those most likely to bepurchasers in the near-term. The most important aspect of this process involves a proactive proc-ess of research and outreach, typically even before a sales representative is involved. By follow-ing this approach, efficient sales organizations are maximizing resources to pursue only thoseopportunities that are most likely to bear fruit.Part 3 - Sales Management InfrastructureThis is where things typically fall apart. Any sales managementsystem requires a place to reside. More importantly, it requiresthat the system is perceived as a valuable tool rather than a cum-bersome job requirement. A reliable, integrated and easy to usesales management technology infrastructure is the “sine quanon” of an effective sales management strategy. It is the platformupon which, and around which, all of the critical planning, ac-count pursuit and intelligence feedback processes reside. It isalso the platform within which customer buying cycles, onceidentified, are tracked to closure. Without an effective informa-tion technology environment to capture, manage and organizethis information, most of it will simply be lost to the “ether” -never to be seen again. Nor will information be available to as-sess whether all the planning processes and sales pursuit endeav- 4
  7. 7. ors are actually working. Most importantly, as sales representatives, executives and sales opera-tions personnel come and go, much of what they know or have worked on will be lost with theirdeparture without a systematic way to capture their progress. There must be a way to managethis information or all the planning and execution in the world will never bear fruit.There are many systems available in the marketplace to capture and manage planning informa-tion, including project management software and custom-built planning applications. However, itmakes much more sense for the sales management system to reside within the sales trackingtools already in place in any sales organization - it’s CRM system. The CRM system is also alogical place to start because the outputs of the sales pursuit process can be seamlessly integratedinto the day-to-day activities of the sales force. CRM however, due to its focus on recordingwhat has already occurred, is not designed for proactive sales planning and intelligent accountresearch and pursuit. It limits its focus to providing sales executives with a “bottoms up” viewof activities in the pipeline - not planning for the development of the pipeline itself. What’smissing for the purposes of the process of sales management is the critical “top-down” view thatenables corporate objectives, sales planning and intelligent account targeting to be managed, inaddition to the real time performance and tracking metrics that are essential to making necessarycourse corrections.Developing ObjectivesWhether you’re a writer, musician or sales executive,nothing strikes fear into the heart more than a blank pieceof paper. For this reason, the development, definition andintegration of high-level objectives into the sales man-agement system that serve as the basis of a multidimen-sional sales plan is of critical importance. Fortunately,there is precious little that is “new” in the sales universe -most business challenges have already been faced, de-fined, conquered and studied. There exists today a vastlibrary of online resources to assist busy business execu-tives in formulating and articulating an executable set ofgoals and objectives. What’s necessary however, is for thesales management system to have considered these re-quirements and incorporated at least a basic library ofgoals and objectives that an executive or sales managercan use as a template to further develop specific ideas re-lating to their tactical and immediate challenges. 5
  8. 8. Defining Performance MeasuresPerformance measures are essentially theguide markers that you need to reference ona real-time basis in order to determine theefficacy of the execution of your sales plansand to alert a sales manager or sales execu-tives to circumstances where a course cor-rection or intervention is necessary. As is thecase with the development of objectives,there exists a wide body of acknowledgedbest practices that can assist an organizationto effectively define performance measuresrelevant to its core business strategy. Thesemust be carefully considered and also acces-sible on demand by sales executives up anddown the chain of command.Reporting & FeedbackAny effective sales management system must in-clude a detailed reporting and feedback system thatanticipates the challenges of executing a plan andprovides a mechanism to enable sales managers togauge the efficacy of the execution of their salesplans and to make appropriate course correctionswhen necessary. These systems must be includedin a centralized and easily accessible format thatpermit a birds eye view of all sales efforts and theability to drill down into individual account execu-tion strategies. In addition, any effective systemwill have detailed account tracking mechanismsthat alert sales representatives, account managersand executives to the dynamics and shifting priori-ties of the sales pursuit process with the singularobjective being to place the sales representative be-fore a customer when they are in a buying cycle. 6
  9. 9. Ensuring User ComplianceAlmost universally, CRM systems are viewed bythe rank and file salesforce as either (1) a merecontact manager or, worse (2) a tool that BigBrother uses to track their activities. This resultsin sales reps concealing some activities from theCRM system or inputting inaccurate, false or mis-leading data. Indeed, if sales reps are the onespolicing the quality of the CRM content, it mustbe acknowledged that they are the least qualifiedmembers of your sales & marketing organizationto do so. Once this cycle takes hold, the CRMdata repository devolves into a “sewer” of bad data, rendering its value functionally useless toassess the quality, scope and status of your market. To address this, the CRM resource must beperceived as an enabler rather than a monitor. When the intelligent pursuit process is imple-mented properly, a research technician will conduct primary research (and ideally, initial out-reach), and only when a target is deemed worthy of pursuit (i.e. the data score achieves an ac-ceptable level) the sales representative is notified and alerted to pursue the target. Sales reps nowhave an incentive to peer into the system regularly. Sales managers are enabled to monitor theprogress of pursuit with clear milestones to define prospects that are in an active buying cycle.Instruction and TutorialAny effective sales performance management system will have amechanism to train, instruct and provide guidance to every indi-vidual in the chain of execution - from sales managers and ex-ecutives to account researchers and outreach professionals, tofield sales representatives. These mechanisms should be de-signed to facilitate the learning process and rapidly guide thatindividual into productive activities. In today’s highly mobileworkforce, it is a given that sales talent, research talent and op-erations and infrastructure personnel will come and go. For thisreason, it is essential that the training products associated with thesales management system be deployable “on-demand” as the need arises and avoid costly andcumbersome training sessions that can de-focus sales operations personnel. The most effectiveway to accomplish this objective is through the use of detailed “playbooks” that focus on the in-dividual roles and tasks and work products that members of the sales team are expected to pro-duce. These playbooks need to communicate in precise detail what information someone new to 7
  10. 10. this role will require, step-by-step instructions in performing their role and contextual guidanceon how these activities relate to other functions within the sales organization.Back End InfrastructureIf you are leveraging an existing CRM system, you will need to capture, organize and integrateall the elements discussed above into a single user interface. Fortunately, most CRM systemsenable the user to incorporate external databases, links and workflows. These can be developedover time to connect the day-to-day activities of the sales organization with the strategic objec-tives of the parent organization. Many platforms such as Salesforce.com enable the developmentof extremely sophisticated process analytics that can enable the sales manager or executive to geta very clear “real time” assessment on whether the tactical execution of the sales force is in linewith strategic objectives in time to make necessary course corrections when these activities needto be accelerated or modified. While a detailed discussion of the numerous components of aneffective back end infrastructure is beyond the scope of this report, it must consider, at a mini-mum, the following data and reportingelements:• Account Profile Analytics• Performance Objective Databases• Account Activity Reporting• Account Strategy Reporting• Account Quality Reporting• Account Analytics 8
  11. 11. Part 4 - Build vs. BuyNow that the elements of an effective sales management system have been reviewed, the obviousquestion remains: "is it more cost/time effective to build the system internally using existingprocesses and components of your IT infrastructure or to purchase such a system from the mar-ketplace?" The elements of the build/buy analysis are well known: building an asset internallyprovides complete control and may have long term economic benefit, but carries the most risk,time lag and can be defocusing. Buying the asset speeds time to execution and amelioratescostly trial-and-error risk, but often requires technical integration and investment. While thesechoices carry their own advantages and disadvantages, the right choice boils down to the strate-gic objectives of the sales organization.The primary advantages of a “build” option involve control and lower long-term costs. Oncebuilt, such a system can be custom tailored to the specific needs of the company and is not de-pendent on the development roadmap of an external entity. However, development timelines arefrequently long and unpredictable. Many companies prefer to focus on their core sales and mar-keting efforts to ensure uninterrupted revenue streams. “Build” initiatives also involve develop-ing multi-disciplinary expertise in software, systems development, hardware design, systems in-tegration, service delivery, support, logistics and maintenance capabilities which are notoriouslydifficult and expensive to assemble and coordinate and not the core competency of the organiza-tion.The primary advantages of a “buy” option are faster time to implementation, turnkey acquisitionof IP, human resources and expertise to support these services. Customers may also retain somecontrol of the development roadmap to add service offerings to closely align with their strategicand operational requirements. The “buy” alternative requires upfront investment since the user isessentially paying a premium for the benefit of having another entity shoulder the risks and bur-dens of building a solution from the ground up. The deciding factor then is whether the “buy”alternative can ameliorate the concerns related to integration, retaining development control andlong term cost.The Lo!gitude™ Sales Navigation AlternativeThe Lo"gitude™ > Sales Navigation Management system contains all the elements of an effec-tive sales performance management system described above in a cloud-based model that requiresno systems integration. Lo"gitude™ provides a complete sales management infrastructure builtfrom the ground up by sales management professionals to transform CRM from a “bottoms up”reporting tool into a “top down” sales planning and management system that is accessible toevery stakeholder in the sales organization. To address the challenges posed by the build/buydilemma, prospective Lo"gitude™ customers should consider the following: 9
  12. 12. • Lo"gitude™ requires no traditional technology system integration - it “bolts on” to your exist- ing Salesforce.com CRM system in approximately 10 minutes.• Lo"gitude™ is fully customizable and configurable - it provides each client organization with access to a complete “model” environment that contains every element discussed above. This permits clients to clone and copy pre-configured sales plans, objectives and measures allowing the client to fully customize their implementation to their specific requirements.• Lo"gitude™ provides complete support - all the elements of implementation, training and support are backed up by an extensive professional services capability.• Lo"gitude™ is low cost - first year investment is less than a low level tele-marketer with no limit on users. Just an annual maintenance fee in subsequent years as the system and features are improved.If this the following diagram looks familiar, implement a system and consider Lo"gitude™: 10
  13. 13. About Precision Sales Engineering and Loλgitude™Precision Sales Engineering is a team of highly skilled, successful sales managers who have navigated throughrough seas, and designed the right tools to help companies steer their sales organization into the global marketplacewith precision. Loλgitude™ Sales Navigation Management is a pre-configured software application that snaps-on toyour Salesforce.com installation delivering a systematic, closed-loop process for eliminating risk in the sales pipe-line, and achieving more predictable and consistent sales results.For more information contact Paul Sidorenko at 415-867-9022 or paul.sidorenko@precisionsales.com.co 11