Execution Excellence in Sales

Execution Excellence in Sales

The best B2B sales organizations consistently deliver sustainable revenue growth. Delivering sustainable revenue growth, at scale, requires combining the right strategy with the right operating model and people to execute it. Execution is the discipline of initiating and sustaining a process for getting the right things done. Companies generally miss their revenue targets due to poor execution. Execution is the key to success. Strong execution of a grade-B plan is always better than the weak execution of a grade-A plan.

According to Gary Harpst, author of Execution Revolution, 90% of strategies fail because of weak execution. How then can sales leaders improve the execution of their organizations and teams? First, they must actively participate and be deeply involved in the execution process. This includes deeply rooting execution in the culture by constantly looking for deltas between commitments and results and continually working to close the gap and raise the bar. Second, sales leaders can also implement and do the following:

  • Clear Goals – Focus on 3-5 commitments to narrow scope and produce the right results.
  • Expand Capability – Develop the right people in the right roles while dealing with underperformance.
  • Follow Through – Summarize the who, what and when for actions to be taken.
  • Require Candor – Foster honest dialogue to understand the good and bad about the business and its people.
  • Reward Performance – Link results to financial and other incentives.

Business excellence is the continual pursuit of balancing strategy and execution. Strategy defines where the organization is going. People define who is going to get it there. The operating plan sets forth the actions for people to take. Operating plans consist of three sections: 1) setting targets, 2) developing actions plans and 3) creating follow through measures to create accountability. Below are five tactics that sales leaders can use to create and reinforce follow through within their organizations and teams. They include:

  • Business Cadence – A predictable sequence of events for managing the business; e.g., weekly sales meeting.
  • Funnel Management – A review of each conversion rate of the sales funnel against specific benchmarks.
  • Sales Process – A repeatable, scalable sales process to coach and deliver predictable results.
  • Performance Scorecard – A common definition of success for measuring progress against targets.
  • Win/Loss Reviews – A review of the wins and losses for the month and the why behind them.

Strategy is the link to operations and people. Operations are the link to strategy and people. People are the link to strategy and operations. All three must be in alignment to achieve execution excellence. Alignment means strategy, operations and people are synchronized. When there is alignment, there is a positive compounding effect. When there is a lack of alignment, the compounding effect is negative. A delay on addressing misalignment can be significant. Failure to act can be expensive or worse.

All contents copyright © 2016, Josh Lowry. All rights reserved.

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