BTS Strategic Execution Blog

Leading Sales Forces’ 5 Challenges and Opportunities

Monday, June 23, 2014 | Category :

Fortune 500 Leaders Shared at BTS’ Client Conference

On June 12th, BTS brought together sales and sales enablement leaders from Fortune 500 companies for our annual East Coast Client Conference in New York City. Here are some of the concerns and goals they shared with us:

  1. Creating and Maintaining a Strong Sales Culture
    Many leaders said that they saw sales culture as an area of improvement that could generate large results. A culture that allows for business unit collaboration, encourages innovation and creates a sense of ownership for sales people is the key to success in the minds of our sales leaders today. Sales leaders devoted to culture change must drive an alignment and mindset that fosters a strong sales culture.
  2. Bridging the Generation Gap(s)
    Now more than ever, the generational gaps between Baby Boomers, Generation X and Generation Y are creating friction within all organizations, including sales forces. Bridging these gaps will require a strategy of forward thinking that fosters energy, ownership and commitment across the board. Sales leaders must understand what their sales people want from a leader in order to give them the ability to make confident leadership decisions and create cadence plans to ensure continuity.
  3. Sustaining Momentum and Reinforcing Sales Development
    Sales systems, processes, training and tools are investments, and sales leaders want to find ways to make sure that investments in developing their salespeople add value on an on-going basis. How do you continue to build capabilities in the field? The first step is executive buy-in to the idea that sales force development is not a one-off event, but a continual process. Then follow-up activities and tools must be planned to reinforce the learned behaviors with results measured through the year
  4. Social Learning and Crowdsourcing Best Practices
    Sales organizations already have extremely context-specific knowledge and expertise—in their people. Sharing and organizing processes and key behaviors would allow sales forces to evolve and improve more quickly if they could access their own intellectual capital. Additional value can be created because social learning actively brings people together in serendipitous ways, it motivates others, and it allows leader to probe more deeply into their sales people to identify underlying issues or weaknesses within the group. This process can be accelerated by identifying top performers and carrying out behavioral interviews the results of which are translated into internal best practices, as well as benchmarking against industry leaders.
  5. CRM Implementation
    A perennial challenge and opportunity, fully integrating CRM and getting reps to use it is still far off for some sales organizations. Meanwhile, sales forces who have successfully implemented CRM are testaments to its effectiveness on the front-lines and in the boardroom. Implementation efforts must clearly communicate the value of the CRM to reps and how it can directly impact their sales. Additionally the effort must maintain executive buy-in, demonstrate use by leaders and adapt to users’ experiences. Active and full use can initially be incentivized through a reward system until its effect on sales results is clear to salespeople.

The time we spent collaborating with a broad group of our clients was only another step in working toward our shared goals. We value the opportunity to listen to and learn from them and look forward to continuing to help accelerate their results.

Learn more at http://www.bts.com/sales-force-transformation.

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