9 Reasons Sales Transformations Fail

Barry TrailerSales transformation is a hot topic because success can yield a 10 percent to 20 percent revenue increase

But you have to pick your battles. As a chief sales officer once told Barry Trailer, managing partner at CSO Insights, “If I implemented every sales effectiveness initiative that was brought to me, I’d be out of business in six months.”

Let’s buzz through the highlights of a webinar Trailer recorded at Dreamforce, titled “Sales Transformation Fail!”

9 Reasons Why Sales Transformations Fail:


1. Lack of executive commitment

Measure commitment by executive involvement. It’s not enough to simply throw around money and allocate a budget for the project. The executives must be involved and engaged.

2. Lack of dedicated resources

How many people have free time? Most people aren’t raising their hands, but this is often the amount of time given to new initiatives. A new project can’t just be someone’s side job. It needs a dedicated resource to make it through implementation.

3. Failing to address culture

Peter Drucker has been attributed as saying, “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” Don’t try to change your culture. Make the strategy work with what you’ve got.

4. Misunderstanding the role of technology

A lot of companies think new technology will fix everything, and they’re disappointed when this turns out to be false. Technology is not a silver bullet. It needs to be an enabler of the company’s goals, not the answer.

5. Confusing sales methodology with sales process

Although they’re similar, it’s important these concepts don’t get confused. A process needs to be in place for a methodology to act on. A methodology can’t replace the process.

6. Stuck at Sales Management 1.0

Managers need to manage millennials in new ways and can’t rely on doing what was done to them. Make sure managers have accurate metrics and aren’t stuck with old processes.

7. Champagne dreams, beer budgets

It’s easy to dream big, but lofty results will only happen if your sales teams receive proper resources. Make sure your goals fit the allotted budget.

8. Trying to go it alone

Many sales leaders think they can drive new initiatives in their spare time. The best results come from a focused team effort.

9. Assuming one and done

A process needs to be regularly repeated for it to be effective. Think of it like the Golden Gate Bridge. They paint from one end to the other and then start back at the beginning once they finish.

Don’t take on everything at once. Figure out why something isn’t working and improve from there.

To learn more about how to manage effective sales transformations, watch Barry Trailer’s Dreamforce presentation here.

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