The greatest technological opportunity that we see is the advancement of sales capability. It has been brilliantly brought to life in the book The Growth Drivers by Andy Bird & Mhairi McEwan. However it is glaring, nearly embarrassing how sales capability has been put on the back burner and outsourcing has been seen as the solution. We don’t think the profession of salespeople is inferior now than it was 20 years ago, but we definitely think the capability importance placed by top brass, is clearly inferior to the efforts placed by equivalents years ago.
The growing sales capability gap is all the more serious given the wide range of activities that sales professionals perform. In some cases, their remit extends from high-level strategic analysis and portfolio planning, right through to operational,
in-market activation and channel management. Sales Professionals must be as comfortable working with creative ideas as with financial and commercial data, balancing art and science, intuition and rigorous analysis. They must be able to engage and collaborate with consumers, customers and colleagues in other functions, as well as with the multiple external agencies and specialist suppliers that support them.
Taken together, these challenges represent a paradox for sales. In one respect, there has never been a more difficult era to be a sales professional, but neither has there been a more exciting and important one. Times of great change often bring unprecedented opportunities. The big question is, therefore, not whether sales as a discipline is important – if businesses want to thrive and grow in the future, it has to be. The real question organizations have to address is, how can they get better at selling? Do they have the world-class capabilities needed to drive brand and business growth? And if not, how can these sales capabilities be built in practice?
The proposition at the heart of SUPERIOR SALES is that organizational leaders who want to drive demand-led growth need to take a more strategic, holistic and
integrated approach to the development of sales capabilities. By investing greater time, effort and resources in building the sales capabilities of their people, teams and their organizations, they will be better equipped to improve commercial performance and drive growth. Over the years, we have developed a proven, practical and user-oriented approach to planning and implementing sales capability development strategies and programs. This is based on working through three important stages, which we describe as the 3D Approach (outlined in the book The Growth Drivers by Andy Bird & Mhairi McEwan)
The 3D Approach is a powerful tool that can be used to guide businesses leaders through the process of sales capability development:
- Define Strategy: Defining the key capability development issues facing the Organization to create an inspiring sales capability vision, strategy and plan
- Develop Solutions: Developing effective and efficient sales processes, tools and ways of working and integrating these in a holistic way with blended skill development programs, and with initiatives in the organization, people and culture drivers of capability
- Drive Embedding: Launching and embedding capability development programs in an inspiring way that transforms the attitudes, skills and behaviors of people, teams and organizations and changes the way they work in practice.
Superior Sales has developed a world-class capability program based on the proven world of martial arts:
- White Belt (building sales standards throughout the business)
- Yellow Belt (building saliency across competitors and category)
- Green Belt (building savvy through storytelling, presenting and negotiations)
- Blue Belt (building coaching & street smarts to drive growth)
- Red Belt (building strategic nous to enable innovation to flourish)
- Black Belt (building ‘soul’ and mentoring thought leadership across the business)
A rapidly changing customer landscape requires new capabilities and ways of working both internally with Marketing and externally with customers and channel partners.
Sales teams need to find new ways to achieve sustainable and profitable growth. Faced with significant market place changes including globalisation, ecommerce, price pressures and increasing customer and shopper expectations, organisations are seeking help in building the capabilities of their Sales teams.
We enable companies to take a customer-centred approach: lifting the capabilities of Sales teams, and creating new practices to join up Sales and Marketing teams around a connected customer experience.
Typically, we work with clients to:
- Define a customer centred purpose and strategy for sales teams
- Identify and develop Sales Capability strategies and plans
- Define & embed a ‘Way of Selling’
- Create channel, shopper and customer strategies and plans, aligned to business strategy
- Launch new products via execution excellence
- Engage more effectively with customers
- Ensure frontline selling is supported by impactful coaching