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Sales Execution: A World of Opportunity [Week 1 of 6]

Posted by on January 11, 2012

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Sales Execution

At the risk of twisting a famous cliche, one could say that sales “make the business world go ’round.” The successful completion of business deals, also known as sales execution, is fundamental to the future of every business.

In a successful sales environment, titles are unimportant. Whether you are a freshly minted sales associate, the Senior V.P. of Sales, or anything in between, only results define success or failure.

At the lowest levels, sales is just selling, but as one progresses up the corporate ladder, sales strategy and employee development become the key priorities. The successful sales director focuses his attention on three distinct areas and on the key personnel who will implement his plans in those areas.

Business and Market Development

The first goal is to accurately identify trends, goals and sales opportunities in the sales market. With this information, a sales manager can align their area’s goals with the company’s national strategy. There is no sense in reinventing the wheel. Instead, a prudent sales manager uses the tools provided by corporate to detail the correct product and account mix to their team. This ensures optimal coverage of the area and the most efficient exploitation of its potential. Proper business planning and market development will always produce the best sales strategies.

Ensuring Sales Execution

The proper execution of the established sales strategies will always yield superior results. The sales manager’s focus should be on using proactive rather than reactive sales tools. Examining total salesafter the factyields information but allows for little further action. Instead, tracking such activities as cold calls, customer contacts and physical meetings allows a sales manager to ensure excellent sales execution while there is still time to correct any deficiencies.

Recruiting and Developing Talent

Attracting and hiring the best talent, and then implementing coaching, mentoring, and maintaining active day-to-day involvement also play a critical role in ensuring superior sales execution. As always, leading by example rather than just telling ingrains those best sales practices into the sales team. And don’t forget that consistent interaction with the sales force: It allows the sales manager to assess, coach and develop the future leaders of their team. Using this same method, the successful sales manager can identify and remove any weak links in the system.

It seems obvious that sales execution requires proper planning, active participation, and the superior talent to succeed. These three requirements should be at the forefront of the sales manager’s mind and create the foundation for all his other activities.

At CGWA, our 5 targeted Sales Execution Workshops are each developed, tested, and refined in the field—in response to real sales execution issues faced by very successful commercial teams. Next week, we’ll talk about the first of these workshops: Strategic Account Development. See you then!

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