How to Set-up Your Next Sales Leader for Success09/14/2023
Boost Your Business: Effective Sales Enablement10/31/2023
How to Maximize Your Next Sales Investment
Are you striving to boost your sales and improve your bottom line, but feel overwhelmed by the vast number of options? You are not alone. In a world filled with countless sales strategies, platforms, and tools, the challenge of choosing the right investment for your sales department can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be.
Time and money are of the essence in today’s competitive market, so I’ve dedicated this article to relaying several timeless investment evaluation strategies.
I have developed and successfully applied these strategies through decades of sales leadership experience to guide the evaluation, selection, and implementation of revenue growth solutions.
These strategies can also be leveraged as part of your decision-making process as you consider if my fit as a Fractional VP Sales is the right solution at the right time.
If you need to increase your revenue but don’t have a roadmap to navigate how to evaluate the myriad of solutions available, read on to pick up some helpful insights.
My objective is to help you avoid the common pitfalls of failed investments by providing methods that have been proven to avoid wasting time and money when investing in your sales team.
In this article, I’ll cover things such as:
- The value that comes out of analyzing failed investments
- How to test for success readiness before embarking on a high-impact investment
- What sales investment criteria justifies extra evaluation and planning diligence
If you would prefer to talk through your sales crossroad, please don’t hesitate to reach out. You may contact me through any of these methods: (404) 271-6767 or [email protected] or book a call through my Scheduling Tool.
The Benefits of Analyzing Previous Investment Failures
Understanding why past sales investments may have failed will help you understand how to succeed in your next venture. You can’t predict how effective an investment will be, but you can analyze how an investment would position your people to sell more, grow wallet share in current accounts, expand your market reach, etc.
When we delve into the reasons behind failed investments, we’re able to analyze the root causes, whether they’re linked to poor planning, lack of internal adoption, a simple mismatch between the solution and the actual needs of the sales team, or something else.
Remember, every failure is an opportunity for learning and growth. By acknowledging and understanding past investment failures, you’re arming yourself with the knowledge and experience necessary to drive future success.
To provide an example of how you could go about unpacking an unsuccessful investment, I’ll process through one of the most common (and costly) ROI failures I encounter in new client settings – Customer Relationship Management system (CRM) implementations.
Of course, you likely need a tool that will streamline your sales process, drive efficiency, provide valuable insights into customer behavior, automate sales pipeline tracking and visibility. However, a CRM is not a magic wand that will automatically fix your revenue challenges.
A previous article I wrote called, “Can a CRM Really Fix My Sales Team?”, does a good job setting expectations for the role a CRM is designed to play within a sales organization.
CRM implementation flops commonly occur due to a lack of clear understanding of the business processes it needs to support, insufficient staff training, and/or failure to achieve user adoption.
This can lead to misaligned sales processes, inadequate reporting, and frustrated salespeople. The result is not only a waste of financial resources but also a significant loss of time and potential sales opportunities.
As you can see, with a bigger investment undertaking such as a CRM implementation, there are several pitfalls to realizing anticipated ROI.
However, with the proper readiness evaluation, planning, and resource allocation, a CRM can be a game changer in supporting heightened revenue performance.
Consideration Factors to Achieve Return on Investment (ROI)
To maximize the return on your sales investments, it’s critical to evaluate various solutions through the right lens. This has little to do with the solution itself and more to do with the problem you are looking to solve and the dependencies that need to be satisfied for the right solution to be successful in your environment.
Until a company is positioned for success readiness and adoption to utilize a new solution, return-on-investment is at risk.
Let’s quickly clarify what would qualify as a “notable” investment. These would be things that have heavy time, financial, or interdepartmental impact through their implementation. A high-impact investment might be hiring more salespeople, implementing a CRM, expanding into new markets, adding a new product or service category, changing or adding a sales leader, etc.
Consider leveraging the following probing questions to stimulate the formation of a critical path to success. Any investment of significance that has the ability to propel revenue generation also has the potential to create costly disruption if dependent factors are not accounted for and satisfied.
Questions to Form a Critical Path to Success:
- What will solution success look like and how will it be measured?
- How does this solution relate to broader, long-term business objectives?
- What roles are necessary to scope, implement, and drive adoption for the solution? How will these roles be staffed with qualified resources?
- What is the ongoing time, effort commitment, and accountability measures for solution benefits to be maintained?
- How much more profit do salespeople need to contribute to the bottom line to make this investment break even?
As an executive, considering these factors can help you set yourself up for success by decreasing the likelihood of a failed investment.
This may mean there is justification to slow down before taking action in order to fill foundational sales system gaps, address sales skills, strengthen inter departmental collaboration, or improve sales culture.
The key is to remove weak links before layering on things like added manpower, complexity, and product breadth.
A Predictable Approach to Secure Your Investments
A methodical approach to sales investment evaluation and planning not only saves on financial resources but also establishes a predictable pattern of success for your organization.
If any of the Critical Path to Success questions I provided above struck a chord of uncertainty, there is likely justification for pause to assess the strength of your current sales system.
Every organization is built and operates just a little differently. It takes an experienced eye to perform the proper analysis and create the right sales system corrective action plan. This is my specialization as a Fractional VP Sales.
Once I understand the people, process, and system gaps that are hindering sales scalability, I work to create actionable recommendations for how to correct them.
I do this by tying poor sales performance symptoms to root cause issues, so you have clarity on how they can be overcome through a corrective action roadmap.
Once you are on a strong sales platform for next-level growth, you can be assured that sales department investments will be positioned to pay off through outsized returns!
If you’d like to discuss the improvement you’re looking for in your business, click on my Free Consultation Ad to request a preliminary call.
I am part of a national group of Senior Sales Leaders who collaborate to share insights like the examples shown in this article. We formed because of our shared passion to help business leaders exponentially grow their revenue.