Suffering From Sales Alignment Drift?
One of the biggest challenges most companies face is keeping sales execution properly aligned with strategy. Even if a company starts off well it is inevitable that execution drifts out of alignment with strategy for a variety of internal or external reasons. Recognizing and mitigating the top causes of alignment drift is the key to reducing the impact of these often self-inflicted sales inhibitors.
Think of sales alignment drift as similar to driving your car down the freeway and drifting out of your lane. If you drift a little but still stay within your lane it is generally not a big deal. But, if you drift outside your lane it rapidly escalates into a potentially dangerous situation.
Alignment drift is also similar to declining eyesight. When your vision declines it is generally a slow process that occurs over an extended period of time. Because of this the decline often goes unnoticed and therefore uncorrected until something gives us a wake up call that results in recognition of the problem. That wake up call would ideally serve as a catalyst for taking corrective action. When you put on that new pair of glasses it is often stunning how dramatic the change is. Likewise, correction of sales alignment drift is frequently dramatic as well.
Three commonly experienced areas of sales alignment drift are:
Sales Execution & Strategy Drift
Sales execution drift occurs when daily execution by your sales team drifts out of alignment with you company and sales strategy. This can be due to a variety of reasons but will typically manifest itself in symptoms that include your sales team:
• Trying to sell outside your sweet spot
• Chasing any opportunity – qualified or not
• Going into sales calls underprepared
Sales & Marketing Drift
Alignment drift between sales and marketing occurs when these functions operate as silos rather than in synch. One of the most common examples suffered by many companies is when leads generated by marketing (a.k.a. Marketing Qualified Leads) are not meaningful or actionable to the sales force since they are not considered qualified opportunities by sales (a.k.a. Sales Qualified Leads). Typical common indicators of sales and marketing misalignment include lack of:
• Common goals and metrics
• A joint and common language
• Regularly scheduled interlock meetings
Buyer’s & Seller’s Process Drift
Alignment drift between your target buyer’s process and your selling process is a third common area of alignment drift. This typically occurs either because your selling process has drifted out of alignment or there has been a shift in your buyer’s process that may have gone unnoticed. Its symptoms often appear as:
• Longer sales cycles
• Lower probability of sale
• Declining sales velocity
• Declining revenue
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms you may be a victim of alignment drift. The key is recognition of the situation and then turning those insights into action to course-correct and get back on track.
For more information, contact Compendium Advisors at Dave@CompendiumAdvisors.com or 925-984-5381
“Accelerating sales by aligning execution with strategy”