In my last few years of working with B2B sales companies, I realized sales interventions ( be it Sales enablement or Sales Consulting ) can fall into one of the following 4 quadrants.
Many times, customers and Sales enablement companies are aiming for too many things. There is a reason why most sales interventions become “favour of the month’ and don’t yield the expected results. Many sales enablement interventions fizzle out post-training interventions or are just too complex to roll out across the sales organization. Not much planning or thought process is given into the overall implementation plan (including risks associated, potential resistance from sales team/ leaders, right timing, blessing from the key leader etc ).
The following matrix I have prepared is based on our experience of being part of multiple “Sales Interventions” initiatives.
Whenever we do sales interventions lately, we brainstorm with customers to think of all possible interventions in the following matrix :
Many professionals responsible for Sales Enablement viz. Heads of Sales, Sales Enablement, L&D, HR etc unknowingly invest alot of time/ effort in the following Quadrants –
“Low- Complexity/ Low Potential Returns” OR “High complexity/Low Potential Returns” OR go ambitious and invest time in “High Complexity/High Potential Returns (without giving much thought to the implementation plan or ignoring it due to a variety of reasons )”.
The quadrant which gives an almost sure shot return is often the most ignored one. That is – the “Low complexity/High Returns” Quadrant. We have named it as “Prioritize“ quadrant.
Few Examples: Sales CRM rollouts normally would sit in the “Plan well” quadrant for most sales organizations. (We have also seen it coming under “High complexity/Low Potential Returns” for many companies when it’s implemented in haste).
At times, interventions like few “Partner programs” come under the “High Complexity/Low Potential Returns” segment for many companies.
Some of the interventions viz. “Meeting Preparation” and “Opportunity Qualification Scorecard” often come under the “Prioritize” quadrant. They are relatively “less complex” to roll out and can positively contribute to Sales KPIs.
For eg- Institutionalizing “meeting preparation” means – bringing a culture of ensuring all sales professionals prepare in a structured manner for their customer meetings/calls.
However, most companies have not invested in institutionalizing them within their sales organization.
Few interventions viz. Value messaging, Objection handling, and Elevator Pitch also can come under “Low complexity” rollouts for most companies. (As you would have realized, “complexity to roll out” differs from company to company. You should think from your company’s perspective ).
In our B2B Sales Training or Consulting interventions, when we brainstorm possible interventions which could eventually contribute to expected Sales Metrics, our objective is to identify interventions that would come under the “Prioritize” and “Plan well” quadrants.
“Prioritize’ interventions are encouraged to be implemented without much delay whereas “Plan well” interventions require planning, understanding of the risks associated, getting consent from leaders, setting expectations etc.
If done well, this can get a big ROI for the customer. If not done/planned well, it becomes a flavour of the month training and your “best” sales reps become “better” whereas the “core of the sales team” goes back to the original way of doing things.
I hope the above matrix helps you in segregating your possible Sales Interventions and help you prioritize your time/efforts and your organization’s resources and avoid “sales interventions” fizzling out from their original promise.