IGerhard Gschwandtner, founder and CEO of Selling Power will share insights on the steps required and missteps to avoid when bringing together the forces that drive business operations, i.e., people, processes, and technology.
A successful business depends on the alignment of people process and technology. That’s the ideal state where people are productive, where processes are effective and where technology is helping us create more satisfied customers. The challenge in most organizations is that people are often too slow, processes are often misaligned and technology is often too complex.
This pix shows where you don’t want to be. You don’t want have salespeople on your payroll whose capabilities are not a good fit with your job requirements. You don’t want to have misalignment between your sales process and your customer’s buying process. You don’t want to have applications that are not integrated with one another. We don’t want to have sales and marketing misaligned like this bridge. We don’t want to be there, yet most sales organizations today are more screwed up than ever before. And in this presentation I’d like to talk about how the pieces of the puzzle might be rearranged so they fit together and you’ll end up with a highly effective sales organization where your internal capabilities are aligned with the emerging opportunities in the marketplace.
At the core of alignment is the battle between art and science. In the 60’s a British scientist named C.P. Snow wrote about the battle between two cultures that drive human progress. He said that we need to continually advance and align art and science to insure progress. This message is more true today than ever since we are going through massive changes that are triggered by an explosion of technology solutions. Progress depends on alignment in real time.
Here is an example of how quickly the science of technology advances. There are over 200 million mobile phones and tablets. We are the first generation that has to cope with exponential change. Dr. Gary Hamel a professor at Stanford says that change itself is changing. There are over 700,000 iPhone apps. We have created an ocean of technology solutions and the real problem today is how to dive into that ocean to find the right solution
Let’s focus on selecting technology. In 2007 Salesforce.com had 430 different sales applications. In the past five years the number of apps has grown by 400% to over 1,700. The total number of apps on the market exceeds 2,000. This makes shopping for sales software a big challenge.
Selecting among 2,000 apps is not an easy job. The majority of the app vendors are less than five years old. Some of them don’t grow and they get bought out, others have explosive growth and go public. I takes time to find the best vendor. Another challenge is CRM integration, and cross integration with other apps. Let’s say you invest in Pricing software and a CPQ solution and you are thinking of automating your incentive comp function. I know only one comp management vendor that does that cross integration. But most people don’t figure that out until they’ve installed all these apps. Another big issue is the internal support. Many apps require a dedicated administrator – what happens if that person leaves? I have heard a number of stories where marketing stops and commissions don’t get paid on time. It’s not always smooth sailing
Many sales leaders go to Dreamforce to shop for apps. It’s like a technology flea market. There were 80,000 people following over 700 education tracks, visiting over 350 vendor booths. This year, Dreamforce turned into a social acupuncture event where you can't get to your scheduled appointments because of the people you run into and pin you down.Dreamforce is a place where technology works like in a dream. Everything is smooth, integrated and aligned. But when you get out of Dreamforce, back to your own business, you’re hit by Realityforce – where everything needs to be rebuilt and reconfigured and nothing ever seems to work as it was originally planned. Can you honestly say that 100% of your salespeople have adopted your CRM solution?
CSO Insights research shows the reality: 74% of sales organizations have poor CRM adoption by sales. The problem is that we all tend to fall in love with shiny objects without thinking of the consequences to people and processes. When it comes to CRM implementations we need to prioritize our investments.
Here is some insight from a company calledResolveCRM., they say that 10% of a successful CRM implementation is technology. 60% of a CRM implementation requires changes or enhancements to the behavior or culture of a company. 30% of a CRM implementation requires changes or enhancements to the work processes salespeople use to interact with customers.What a lot of people don’t realize is that deploying technology requires a well thought out process. CRM is just the starting point.
The lure of technology is all about acceleration, we all want to get from point A to point B faster, better, cheaper.
We are all addicted to speed and in most cases technology gives us accelerated returns.Technology gives us the opportunity to accelerate the entire sales process from contacting prospects to closing deals. .
But when it’s all integrated, it can have a dramatic impact on the bottom line. For instance, David Fitzgerald, EVP of Brainshark has invested in 19 different apps that worked in synch with salesforce.com. His cost is $4,000 per salesperson per year and the result was a 35% increase in sales year over year for the past three years.
That’s why we have created the SalesOpShop where sales leaders collaborate and they share what apps they use and trade best practices with their peers. Check it out after this webinar.
Here is a quick checklist you can use to plan your next sales software investment
We’ve covered technology, and we’re moving on to process.
Here is why the sales process needs to change in most companies because the customer journey has changed. Research shows that 57% of the buying process is completed before a salesperson is contacted. According to Forrester,up to 70 percent of a customer’s buying decision is now made based on information he or she finds online, well before a salesperson has a chance to get involved
The truth is, it has gotten shorter. Consistently shorter each year. We’ve been measuring this… we’ve measured about 10 million sales cycles over the last 6 years and we have seen that sales cycles are getting shorter. Let’s look at why..
If we look at the traditional sales cycle – you have a customer buying process on the left, where they identify needs and they evaluate options, and so on. And then you have the sales process on the right, where you qualify and gather requirements, and present your evidence and then you sell and they buy. And the sales process hasn’t changed much over time. It’s basically: Customer has a need, I show them I can address their need, and then I ask them for money.
But what’s happened in recent times is, because of social, and because of tighter budgets, the sales folks didn’t get into the cycle until much later in the game. They buyer is coming to the table later, and they invite the sales people in to the process later. Why? Because the buyer is doing a lot of the work online. They’re doing solution discovery, they’re checking with their network to learn about alternatives and investigate best practices, and then they are calling you for a price.
The buying process is changing faster than companies are responding.
Research of our SalesOpShop members shows that the # 1 priority of sales leaders is top line sales growth the # 2 priority is improving the sales process. Here are the six most important processes that we need to take a look at to achieve that goal. We need to establish an effective process for capturing leads, and engaging customers. Second, we need to create a social media process that facilitates the buying journey. We need a process for improving sales enablement and sales communications. What is the best Sales Strategy?What is the best Sales Structure?
We also need a process for sales training and coaching, for sales incentive compensation and sales motivation. And, we need to associate every process with analytics so we will know what works and what we need to improve next.
Here is an example for the customer engagement process – Mike Damphousse, the CEO of Green Leads had salespeople dialing 150 prospects day and speaking to 9 per hour. They have accelerated their process by 500% with better technology.
Here is an example of a social media process. As you can see, social media can be a real time sink. That’s why it is important to associate metrics with any process. We need to measure what matters and in sales what matters is: how many leads did social media generate and how many converted into sales?
Culture is about emotions, strategy is about logic. Logic makes people think, emotions makes people act.
We’ve talked a lot about the pieces of the puzzle, let’s try to create a composite picture and reassemble all the pieces.
The solution in aligning people process and technology doesn’t come from a bigger or better tool set. More technology isn’t the solution. That’s the last 10% in the list of priorities
Better tools won’t build you a better house. We need a blueprint. A good architect will create a blueprint that matches people’s imagination and their budget. A good sales leader can do the same, design a sales organization that begins with a culture that defines how people work together. That culture needs to be paired with a strategy. Once that is in place,
…we can work on the process. And that process should be associated with clear metrics. The final piece is the technology roadmap that we overlay over the process.
Instead of looking at 2,000 different apps, it’s a good idea to look at the major app categories. That’s why we have organized the SalesOpShop into 15 different sales productivity categories. My recommendation is not to install more than three or four new apps per year. Some of them are easy, like e-signatures to accelerate getting the customer’s signature from six days to six hours. An online comp management solution can be up and running in a couple of days, a marketing app may take you four to six weeks and over a year to ROI.
Technology is the last piece, it’s the tool set that will accelerate the process, it’s the tool set that will help people leverage their talents. But if these tools are not aligned, you’re just accelerating chaos. The alignment of people process and technology. That’s the ideal state where people are productive, where processes are effective and where technology is helping us create more satisfied customers. The big question is who can get that job done? It takes two kinds of people.
Let’s compare baseball to selling. Baseball is an emotional game, it stirs passion in people. Great salespeople are like baseball players, they have a lot of passion for what they do. They are evangelists, they are crusaders, they are conquerors, they have fire in the belly.
The movie Moneyball showed us that management is a rational game. A manager’s goals rise out of necessity rather than desires. Managers excel at diffusing conflicts between individuals or departments, placating all sides while ensuring that an organization’s day to day business gets done. Managers love to find fixes.
Managers are not scientists, but the smart ones know that science wins more games. In this 2.0 world they increasingly rely on sales operations managers. The sales op manager is the science nerd who knows which tools can fix the sales manager’s problems.
Leaders are not fixers, they look for the potential opportunities that they see in the road ahead, and they inspire their followers and they fire up the creative process of an organization with their own energy, and they move it along with their passion. Great leaders are an unstoppable idea factory. It doesn’t matter if you are a player – a salesperson in the trenches, or a manager who wants to fix the problem with aligning people, process and technology, or a leader who wants to move the organization to the top spot in the industry – we all need to know that our success depends on the quality of our thinking. By that I mean that our thinking is aligned with reality. And that’s something we all need to get better at.
Dr. Abraham Zaleznik, a professor at Harvard Business School said it best: Thinking is an experimental form of action. Thinking is cheap, action is expensive.” But we need to go a little further than that. To win in today’s market we need more innovative thinking and that’s why the last word is from a very creative thinker….
Albert Einstein who said, “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” And on that note I want to close and open it up for questions.
Sales Webinar | How to Align People, Process and Technology to Avoid Chaos and Confusion
How to AlignPeople, Process and Technologyto avoid Chaos and ConfusionGerhard Gschwandtner | Founder & CEO Will Wiegler | CMOSelling Power The TAS Group
Sales 2.0 Technology “We invested in 19 Applications that work in synch. The cost is $4,000 per salesperson” Result: 35% Sales Increase David Fitzgerald EVP
Brainshark’s Sales 2.0 Platform (as of 5/1/10) Web & Sales Social Media Portal Web Analytics Conferencing On-Demand Rich Media Content Marketing Sales Automation Intelligence CRM Salesforce Time & Contact Materials Data Event Corvent Proposal Management Creation E-Mail / Chat
A plan for software investment• What constitutes success?• How do we diagnose the existing problem?• How many solution exist at this time?• What are the benefits?• What are the risks?• What metrics will we use to measure success?• Who will be accountable for the success/failure?• How will we measure ROI?
Technology challenge “A perfection of means and a confusion of aims, seems to be our main problem” (Albert Einstein)