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  • David Kohar

Moving Customers Up the Curve to Drive Sales Results

Drive Sales Results with Dynamics 365 Part 2: Sales Results Workstream

In my last post, we reviewed the Sales Adoption Maturity Lifecycle and how customers typically evolve from Adoption to Transformation – getting a cultural buy-in to a new system on top of improved sales results.

In this post, I’ll give you a glimpse into our method for moving customers up the curve to drive sales results. We refer to this joint effort as our Sales Results Workstream and we thread this into our sales implementations to help maximize our customer’s ROI.

The process can be summarized by the following chart:

Now let’s look at each part of the process individually to see how this impacts the customer:

Sales Leadership Workshop

Starting from the top, a sales initiative must align and support priority sales objectives. It is critical to not only have a line-of-sight on objectives, but also the metrics and tactics that the sales organization is trying to leverage to accomplish their sales goals.

For example, let’s say the sales team needs to grow the top line sales number by 20% as a priority sales objective and metric in this next fiscal year. One of the key tactics that leadership is going to invest in is increasing the sales team coverage of existing high growth potential accounts. To keep this example straight forward for the moment, let’s say that there are 10,000 customers and that:

  1. The top 100 represent 50% of the revenue (A Accounts)

  2. The next 1,900 represent 30% of the revenue (B Accounts)

  3. The next 3,000 represent 10% of the revenue (C Accounts)

  4. The bottom 5,000 represent 10% of the revenue (D Accounts).

In summary, the sales leadership team wants to invest in the “B Accounts” to make more of them like their “A Accounts.” Let’s say that the tactics include increasing the number of touch points with this group of customers, including improved strategic planning, and real time reporting on both leading indicators (more touch points with B Accounts) and lagging indicators (actual sales results tracked at the B Accounts) so the sales team can quickly determine if their strategy is working or needs adjustment.

Sales Objective and Reporting Alignment

Now that it is clear what the tactics, metrics, and objectives are for the sales team, we want to configure the sales solution to support each tactic. In our example above, we would want to (at a minimum) ensure that we are capable of easily profiling and segmenting customers, tracking interactions and the strategic planning process, along with an easy way to see what the sales results are for each account. Ideally, seeing the interactions and the sales results graphed to show cause and effect (example reporting below) will allow the team to most quickly replicate what is working and course correct what is not.

Communication and Field Sales Expectations

Now that the sales solution is aligned with objectives, the next key step is to ensure the sales team knows the Why (Sales Objective), the What (Process or Tactic) and the How (CRM capabilities). In their training and rollout communications, many organizations focus on the How and some of the What. It is far more effective when the sales organization understands clearly the “Why.” In our example, this is aligning the sales initiative with the sales objective of growing by 20% along with the tactic of increasing effort on the high growth potential Accounts. Clarity of the sales leadership objectives along with what is in this for the sales team is what helps drive the sales team up the Sales Adoption Maturity Lifecycle.

Sales Coaching and Training

The final stage is coaching. I am purposefully focusing on the sales management team in this stage, but the same principles are also relevant to the sales team. It is critical at this stage to convert the sales management team so they all leverage the sales solution to track the sales tactics that were identified to drive the sales objective (increase sales by 20%). If sales managers bring the solution into their daily and weekly routines, like running the Monday Morning Sales Team call or the 1 on 1 sessions that they have with their individual sales team members, the sales team will start to adopt because they see that their managers are all in. Soon the mantra “if it isn’t in CRM, it didn’t happen” will be the norm. In order to make this happen, specific training and follow up coaching for the sales management team is often the difference maker in the success or failure of the sales solution.

What’s next? Well, the first question we must answer is whether the original sales tactics of increasing coverage on the highest growth potential customers paid off or not. Tackling the next set of sales objectives, metrics, and tactics that need to be adopted follows that, and the process ends and begins anew with sales leadership.

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