The worst thing a distribution company that is attempting to transform the performance of their sales department can do is try to apply an off-the-shelf solution or take on a strategy that worked inside another company and expect it to change their business in the same way. It could result in a train wreck, according to Mike Kunkle, VP, sales effectiveness services, at SPARXiQ.
“The ability to figure out what’s right for you in your context is 10 times more valuable than being told what to do,” he told attendees during MDM’s July Sales Transformation Roundtable webcast. MDM formed The Sales Transformation Network in lead up to our annual Sales GPS conference.
Kunkle shared six steps a distributor can take to position their sales talent for growth, based around questions that will frame your company’s unique market position:
1. Sales Force Diagnostics
- Is my current team wired for the new normal? Do we have the right people in the right roles? What are their capabilities? What do they need?
2. Systems Thinking
- How can systems thinking improve our efficiency and effectiveness?
3. Sales Hiring
- When we need to replace sales reps/managers or grow our team, how can we ensure we select the best possible candidates?
- “This is the time to start building the systems for when you move back into a growth mode so that you can bring back in or hire exactly the right people you need to put on the bus,” he said.
4. Sales Enablement
- How do best-in-class organizations sell, train and enable their sales force to ensure adoption and get results?
5. Sales Coaching
- Are our front-line managers prepared to coach effectively to support and develop their teams to get the results we need?
6. Sales Management
- Do we have a sales management system in place to ensure the disciplined execution of our sales plan?
“You have to know that you’re teaching content that is going to produce results in the real world,” Kunkle said.
Sales Enablement Building Blocks
He also shared nine sales enablement building blocks that, when reinforced and supported by systems thinking and effective communication, can also contribute to an effective sales transformation process. See chart below.
The transformation process is best served when it takes place as a cross-functional collaboration, he added. Kunkle will dive more deeply into the steps distributors can take toward effective sales transformation during MDM’s now virtual Sales GPS 2020 conference. For more information on the August 31-September 2 event, visit salesgps.mdm.com.