Las“Organizing is what you do before you do something, so that when you do it, it is not all mixed up'. A. A. Milne.
The infinite wisdom of Winnie the Pooh sums it up. It’s obvious but often businesses, especially start-ups don’t focus enough on how to organize themselves. The consequence of this is a lack of optimisation across resources and processes which results in a higher cost of sale.
Trinamo believe people, processes and organisation are the three essential components that drive revenue growth within a business. These three elements need to work together, if they don’t and one is sub optimal then all are affected.
Last week our blog focused on the importance of correctly recruiting and on boarding the right people for your business. Now we would like to share our top tips for organising a killer marketing and sales team.
Whether you are an early stage business or an established brand launching new products it is critical you organise the team correctly. This means giving your team clear objectives and territories in order to drive new customer acquisition and providing them with incentives to drive the correct behaviour. Here are three key considerations:
1) Marketing and Sales MUST be aligned
It is vital both marketing and sales understand the role they have to play in growing the business. It is quite common for businesses to recruit a Chief Revenue Officer responsible for sales and marketing rather than a separate head of sales and a head of marketing. This is to ensure alignment across both disciplines.
A survey done in 2015 by the Consumer Executive Board (CEB) of 1,900 corporate decision makers found that “buyers were, at a minimum, 57 percent of the way through the buying process before they contact a potential supplier. Some respondents reported being as much as 70 percent complete with the decision-making process before reaching out to a vendor.”
Today your marketing team should be using inbound digital marketing practices to build a funnel of opportunity for sales to close. Activity should focus on the decision-makers and engaging with them as early as possible to promote your company as the best solution. This means:
- Creating a website optimised for Google so a purchaser can discover you
- Designing a website that is easy to navigate with business benefits messaging that resonates
- Producing valuable campaigns and content to attract the purchaser back and to leave their details
- Tracking how often decision-makers engage with your business
- Nurturing suspects today that are prospects tomorrow
Implemented correctly, marketing enables your business to efficiently develop a funnel of potential customers without wasting valuable, expensive sales resource on prospects who are too early in the decision making process to buy.
Marketing should be as equally focused on the revenue goal as sales and on developing marketing qualified leads (MQL’s) that can be handed over to sales at the appropriate time. At the point sales pick up a sales accepted lead (SAL) they should feel confident that this prospect is seriously considering a purchase and considering your company. They should be equipped and focused on qualifying and closing the opportunity.
2) Territory Planning
Done correctly territory planning can help your business significantly accelerate revenue growth. A territory can be a geographic region, an industry or sector or simply a type or group of accounts. By defining a territory, it provides a set of parameters for a sales person to use to focus their behaviour – a motivated sales person should view their territory as their own ‘business’.
They should be the ‘CEO’ of their territory vision, be setting goals, developing strategies and making plans to grow revenue. For your business a territory plan helps provide management and accountability to evaluate sales performance. It can also prevent sales conflict across sales individuals or teams.
A strong sales manager/leader should aim to build a strong territory business plan. A good territory plan should:
- Map what is happening in the territory ie. competitor behaviour, sales campaigns, key projects
- Record performance against plan in the past to define the expected level of potential new business vs repeat business
- Define how the team within that territory will make the number for the year ahead be that via
- Direct sales (new business, up-sale to existing customers (account sales),
- Indirect sales (partners, VARs, distributors)
- Develop a territory action plan with SMART goals
A strong sales leader should review the territory performance regularly. Metrics for health should include:
- Number of new account relationships with additional sales opportunities
- Number of customers willing to be references
- Number of new suspects entering the funnel
- Number of new sales accepted leads entering the pipeline
- Accuracy of sales forecast
3) Compensation plans
‘I realize that one of the biggest lessons I’ve learned involves the power of a compensation plan to motivate salespeople not only to sell more but to act in ways that support a start-up’s evolving business model and overall strategy.’ Mark Roberge – CRO, Hubspot for Harvard Business Review
There is no perfect compensation plan.
Each business needs to develop a plan that motivates the correct behaviour but also provides a manager with leading indicators for performance or under performance. It also needs to ensure that it rewards the right behaviours but doesn’t bankrupt the business! Next month we will blog on detailed compensation plan best practices but for now here are some ideas to follow.
Objectives for a ‘search’ stage business who wants to aggressively acquire new customers are different from a ‘focus’ stage business who wants to address customer retention. For a larger, “scale” company focus is more likely to be on retention and market share.
Across any business, what’s important is to have:
- Clear, unambiguous targets,
- Tracked at least quarterly and with
- Accelerators for hitting target and over achieving targets
- Clear links between targets for marketing and sales
A compensation plan should reward all staff involved in growing the business. Marketing plays a pivotal role in developing the pipeline so businesses are recognising this by adding a bonus element to marketing teams against funnel performance metrics. Technical teams can also be aligned to growth via a bonus plan.
These are the golden rules for developing a successful compensation plan:
- Make it simple and easy for the staff to understand
- Align it to key business objectives
- Reward changed behaviour immediately
- Review how the plan is working and amend
- Have regular, periodic review points
We can’t emphasise enough how important it is to get compensation planning right!
Don’t forget to check in next month for a more detailed guide to compensation plan best practice, but if you want to learn more about how Trinamo can help you reach your sales and marketing goals, check out our free marketing and sales growth consultation!