Chief Sales Officer & Strategy
Success in the CSO role includes a solid sales strategy and plan for diving profitable revenue growth. A true sales strategy includes the following components and activities.
Aligning with Marketing to understand the total and serviceable addressable market, ideal customer profile with propensity-to-buy criteria to enable the sales team to effectively target buyer personas and buying processes. Knowledge of the customer buying journey also provides the foundation for an adaptive sales process.
Defining the optimal sales model and go-to-market coverage mix links overall strategy with field execution. It maps the direct and indirect channels for growth. And it also defines the linkages across marketing, product and customer success.
This involves assessing the best sales organizational design for the company’s markets, products, and services. The model must balance the requirement for new revenue, as well as the retention and growth with existing customers. Beyond reporting lines and boxes, the organizational design must also address talent requirements, territory coverage and quotas. The model should be reinforced through compensation plans that incentivize the right behaviors.
Process & Plays
This involves determining how prospects are qualified and guided through the buying process, designing targeted selling actions as well as content, and aligning them for new business acquisition. Lightweight, tailored and adaptive sales methodologies focus on running the right play at the right time. A formal process and tightly aligned and integrated MarTech tools are also needed to manage and expand account relationships. Lastly, the CSO is responsible for strengthening the situational awareness of reps to increase efficiency, productivity and individual performance.
A great sales strategy identifies the messaging for engaging multiple influencers in today’s consensus-driven sale including a strongly differentiated value proposition linked to value and business outcomes. Ultimately, this insight is translated into enabling tools that support scalable, adaptive selling behaviors: What to Do, What to Say, and What to Show in specific selling scenarios. An effective sales messaging plan drives tight alignment between sales and marketing.
Enablement and Operations
Every great sales strategy includes a combination of enablement (sales effectiveness) and operations (sales efficiency). Executing powerful enablement and operations is multifaceted. It typically includes playbooks, onboarding processes, training, coaching reinforcement and much more.
Sales strategy hinges on the ability to measure key lagging, leading, and behavioral indicators. These KPI’s help develop a great pipeline and forecasting process. Equally important, they provide the roadmap for front-line sales management, insights, and coaching. Clarity around metrics is also central to effective sales analytics and reporting.
Finally, an effective sales strategy leverages technology. A great CSO knows how to maximize their sales technology stack, including CRM, marketing automation, enablement tools, and talent management. For many sales compensation models, world-class configuration, pricing and quoting systems are essential to reducing selling time and enabling scale. Today’s sales leaders know how to use technology, data, and business-artificial intelligence to improve performance.