Sales performance strategy leverages a solid sales operations strategy. While this is good advice for any selling environment, it is particularly appropriate for industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) selling environments.
Why? Because IIoT selling environments are dynamic and continuously changing. As a result, they require an equally-dynamic and responsive sales performance environment.
Collaborative IIoT sales performance is continuously tested by Buyers, pre-sale and post-sale.
Complex selling environments are characterized by longer product, software, platform and equipment sales cycles. In addition, larger investments are involved as well as an extended contractual obligation between buyer and seller. As a result, industrial Internet of Things buyers expect the seller’s organization to become embedded within the client’s value stream.
Therefore, what makes or breaks the sales performance of any sales organization is how well everyone collaborates across the enterprise. Even if you are an enterprise of one person, a startup or a small business.
Collaboration does not thrive when sales people perceive sales operations folks to be nothing more than a bunch of on-demand individual order-takers. Traditional, Us versus Them sales environments apply the sales operations resources as-needed. As a result, the sales operations function remains at-arms-length from sales teams.
What happens when sales performance strategy pokes holes in traditional mindset and corporate silos? Instead of segregating people in functional silos, teams collaborate across the organization. Sales people discover that the sales operations folks are innovators instead of order-takers.
Consequently, everyone becomes aligned and well-integrated to best serve client needs.
To retain customers, high-performing IIoT sales organizations leverage insights created by an equally high-performing sales operations organization.
You do not have to be an enterprise-size sales organization to develop high-level sales performance habits and mindset.
- First, consider that sales operations professionals are hired to be far more research and data-driven than are sales professionals.
- Then, think about the value that is created when sales ops folks collaborate and translate their findings to the sales organization.
As a result, sales performance strategy leverages collaboration with the sales operations function.
In complex selling environments, it is difficult for the sales organization to keep up with all the pre-sale factors and trends impacting how buyers make decisions. In addition, the sales force often can lose sight of how products and services perform, post-sale.
As a result, those sales operations people become very important to “sticking close to the customer”. Also, sales operations professionals remain closely involved with pre- and post-sale resources in engineering, finance, IT, operations, data scientists, logistics. Consequently, they are best able to assist the sales organization in creating a more complete picture of client health.
When sales teams stick close to the customer because they also stick close to their sales operations resources, sales performance magic happens. Listen to my BrightTALK Sales Experts Sales Summit panel discussion. Discover more ideas to help your organization achieve higher levels of sales performance.
Wait. There’s more! Download my complementary Complex Sales Performance and Sales Operations Checkup to assess the current health of your own sales organization.
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Babette Ten Haken is a catalyst. She writes, speaks, consults and coaches about how cross-functional sales and operations team collaboration revolutionizes the industrial Internet of Things value chain for customer loyalty, customer success and customer retention. She connects the dots between leadership, human capital / HR strategy and developing a data-driven, team-based workforce committed to creating enduring business outcomes. Babette’s playbook of technical / non-technical collaboration hacks, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon. Visit the Free Resources section of her website for more tools.
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