Before Investing in Your Sales Team Do these 3 Things

It’s important to understand the process, priorities, and challenges to be addressed before investing in technology or training.

We all seek a bigger, better mousetrap. This is the promise of better living through technology. If we just keep throwing tooling at the problem, we inevitably end up with a bunch of disjointed systems bolted on to a bad process. I’ve come to affectionately and comically call this a Frankenstack. You first need to understand the challenges you’re facing and your customers are facing before you invest in technology or training.

What is your qualification process, what’s your sales methodology? (process)
Do you need to fix your targeting – Ideal Customer Profile (ICP), messaging, or personalization? (priorities) If you assess your funnel, are there problems at the top, middle, or bottom? Maybe it’s all three. (challenges)

The sales process, the Ops process, the training process, the onboarding process, begets a quality renewal process. Death by process. Too much process?

You need to map everything out on a White Board with all stakeholders in your team including Customer Success (CSM). If you’re seeking to crack Inbound Marketing, whiteboard the existing inbound process: perhaps Acquire, Engage, Retain – and then map that effective process (once iterated in real-life) against a tool. If you’re drip marketing and scoring in Marketing Automation platforms like Marketo you’ve gotta calibrate what makes a meaningful journey orchestration. If everything comes up scoring 70 what’s the use of the analytics? Just a hypothetical to illustrate my point!

I can’t tell you how many companies are fuzzy around how to stack rank their priorities with Power Laws. The Pareto Distribution would argue that 80% of any system is weaker than the 20% driving 80% of results. It’s just a principle governing all human and natural systems by physics law. Love how we casually ignore “rules of matter” and simply 10X everything into a big 10X’d mess.

"The sales process, the Ops process, the training process, the onboarding process, begets a quality renewal process. Death by process. Too much process?"

Prioritization is about focusing and narrowing the aperture down to a laser on what you’re going to do to attack the root causes of the problem. The father of modern branding, Al Ries, used to say “The power of a brand is inversely proportional to its scope.”

Root cause analysis (RCA) is a universal process to identify the real root cause challenges vs. the symptoms they engender. . Too many startups are operating on layers and layers of band-aids and temporary fixes.

This is just sheer prudence of forethought. You have to assess your people before you determine how to upskill performance. What stage of the funnel are prospects getting stuck in? Are sellers generating an insufficient pipeline? Why? Ask the five Whys?

Winning the revenue game is about people, processes, and technology. You invest in your process inadvertently by training your people. When you have more highly trained people, you get a better process and methodology unlocked by the technology. It’s a virtuous cycle. If you now invest in the technology with your “house in order,” you’ll be assiduously unlocking economies of scale borne out of a quality process.

Justin Michael Headshot
Justin Michael, aka the Tony Stark of XDRs

is Vendor Neutral’s sales futurist and author of “Tech-Powered Sales” releasing on HarperCollins in 2021. After two decades of consulting 100+ early-stage startups on hypergrowth and holding leadership roles at LinkedIn, Salesforce, and reporting to Sean Parker, Justin was part of a stealth project where engineers built an AI model of his brain while prospecting with the goal of fully automating sales development itself. He is passionate about AI, ML, NLP, Deep Learning AI, and Neural Network evolution in order to bridge toward the Singularity. His writing seeks to unlock all the ways Marketing and Sales leaders can apply these mechanics to free up the human in the sales process, restoring quality consultative exchanges that drive value

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