Experts on sales transformation offer up secrets at Accelerate ’17.

If, in a parallel universe, there’s a Nobel Prize awarded in the category of Sales, the parallel Ken Krogue received it long ago. That’s because Ken, who is a founder and president of XANT, has figured out how to reduce the process of selling to an actual science, complete with observations, measurements, hypotheses, testing, testing, retesting, more testing and actionable conclusions.

Ken opened up on several portions of his scientific approach to sales transformation during his session at Accelerate ’17. He began by examining the premise that there are three kinds organizations primed for transformation.

The first is a startup, which brings with it the excitement of a blank slate and infinite possibilities.

The second is an acceleration organization, where the sales process is on the right track and is ready to move to the next level.

But over half of all sales teams are in the dire position of what Ken calls a ‘turnaround’.

“That’s where you have to engage change,” Ken says. “You have to transform what you’ve been doing to what you will be doing, and you don’t want to get locked into that insanity loop of trying to do the same things over and over again.”

Ken went on to share the lessons learned from having worked through over 70 transformation engagements.

The five most impactful principles for a sales team in the process of transforming are:

  1. Leadership. Find executive sponsorship. Make sure you know the path to power and build a coalition of stakeholders.
  2. Management (or governance). Align the sales organization with the groups within the business that are both needed and helpful. A soon-to-be-published survey of high-level sales executives reveals that many gaps separate sales from the components of the business that it most needs to succeed.
  3. Full engagement. Build a culture in which your team knows you care about them.
  4. Metrics. Establish a clear baseline and constantly measure progress against it.
  5. Process. Create and implement a dynamic sales methodology. Begin with the end in mind and map your way back to where you are at present.

Ken mentioned that these principles are examined in extreme detail in his forthcoming book dedicated to sales transformation.

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