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6 Steps for Distributors to Execute a Sales Transformation Plan

After strategy and tactics building comes the critical stage of implementing a sales performance transformation. SPARXiQ’s Mike Kunkle breaks down how to make it happen.
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Sales performance transformation involves “a series of baton hand-offs,” moving from strategy sessions to tactical planning to the execution stage, noted Mike Kunkle, VP, sales effectiveness services at SPARXiQ in his Sales GPS 2020 presentation, 6 Steps to Position Your Sales Talent for Growth. Kunkle used the 30-minute presentation to drill down on the critical execution stage, providing attendees with specific action items to retool their businesses and “move forward in the new normal” — creating a go-to-market plan for sales, marketing and service that will effectively execute on their strategy.

“It gets to be all about execution,” Kunkle said. “That’s where I’m going to focus today: on hiring, training, coaching, supporting, managing, leading your team in developing your talent and creating the environment and the culture in which they can thrive in a high-performance setting.”

Kunkle addressed these six steps and the related questions for distributors ask themselves and then answer in order to execute a successful sales process transformation:

1. Sales Force Diagnostics

Start by asking yourself if your current team is wired for the new normal you’re looking to achieve. “I’ve created a go-to-market plan,” Kunkle said. “So, do I have the right people in the right seats on the bus to be able to execute that plan? What are their capabilities? And then what do they need from me and the organization to be able to execute effectively?”

2. Systems Thinking

“You have to step back and say, ‘How can systems thinking improve our efficiency and effectiveness as we execute,’” he said.

3. Sales Hiring

This step revisits the work you put into sales for diagnostics. From a hiring perspective, if you need to replace your sales reps or managers or grow your team with additional people, “How do you ensure that you’re selecting the exact right people for the right roles to deliver on what you need them to do,” Kunkle asked.

4. Sales Enablement

Best-in-class organizations sell, train and prepare — otherwise known as enable — their sales force to ensure adoption of their sales methodology and process and practices and to get the results that they need, Kunkle explained.

5. Sales Coaching

This is always a big piece of the process, he said. Ask yourself, are your front-line managers actually prepared to coach effectively and support and develop their teams to get the results?

6. Sales Management

Learn to move from being a sales-led organization to a manager-led organization. “Do you have a sales management operating system in place? Do you have a cadence of what these managers need to do and the best practices to do it to ensure that you get the disciplined execution of your plan,” he asked.

Repeatedly addressing these steps and finding the answers to the questions associated with them will lead to culture change, Kunkle said.

For complete details on each step, such as what a ‘systems approach’ actually entails and how to establish a framework for a sales hiring process with these goals in mind, and much, much more, join the MDM Sales Transformation Network for on-demand access to Kunkle’s session, plus all of the 2020 Sales GPS content, as well as MDM’s archive of all previous Sales GPS content from the last four years’ events.

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