Welcome back for part 2 in our ongoing series about creating a high performance go to market engine. If you missed part one, no worries, click here to catch up.
Part one of the series explained the importance of the Go-to-Market engine (technology), comparing the investment to how NASCAR views engine technology. The key points were the need to think of Go-to-Market as more than a Sales & Marketing activity (building your racing team) and that the engine (technology) is a critical factor in maximizing your racing team’s performance.
This blog (part two) will focus on the need to continuously enhance the Go-to-Market engine, and suggest two areas of improvement that can significantly impact performance.
Improving Engine Performance
Let’s jump back into things and start by looking at how deals are often lost and why that is important to consider when building your “engine.” Research from Gartner CEB indicates that 20% of deals are stalled or lost from internal complexity. Why? Simply put, the intricacy of a single sales cycle can be substantial. Sales Reps interface with an average of 4.3 internal stakeholders and 8.5 technologies to work a single opportunity. So how can this be remedied?
One solution could be to optimize and extend the Salesforce Platform by investing in consulting services and leveraging Force.com applications that enable automation. This will help to improve how quickly stakeholders are able to make decisions and avoid unnecessary approval steps. It can also reduce the number of disjointed solutions, providing a seamless look & feel to the user community.
Where to Start the Journey
How do you go about expanding your Salesforce Ecosystem? Successfully doing so requires taking a look at your people, processes and technology. In particular, looking at the process first can maximize your Salesforce investment while also ensuring strong user adoption. Investing in Roadmap/Blueprint activities can help determine where to focus attention by identifying key requirements and understanding process flow inefficiencies.
Automating “deal desk” processes and/or aligning Sales with Services/Support are two good examples of how companies are improving Go-to-Market performance. Let’s take a closer look:
Automating Deal Desk: Depending on the number of stakeholders and complexity of the sales process, Deal Desk can be a “black hole” where Sales Reps struggle to determine where their opportunity sits in the approval process. Significant delays can result in a lost sale.
Leveraging Configure Price Quote (CPQ) and Contract Lifecycle Management, in combination with approval flow functionality allows automation of criteria driven approval processes, and in many cases may help avoid the need for approvals when ensuring pricing/discounting rules are in place (CPQ) and/or that generated contract documents have the correct required language, terms and conditions (CLM).
Aligning Sales and Services/Support: Services/Support play a crucial role in Go-to-Market success, by ensuring delivery of critical services that impact invoicing and/or client satisfaction (references). This group also can help identify additional opportunities for Sales pursuits. Unfortunately, in many cases, they are isolated from the Sales organization or use different platforms that prevent sharing of critical information.
Salesforce Service Cloud and Field Service Lightning enables efficiency in managing Services/Support activities, addressing customer issues, and providing a 360 degree view of critical customer information. It can also play a key function in ensuring aligned communication between Sales and Services (access to contract and order information).
Now that we have looked closer at example processes that businesses can utilize to improve their Go-to-Market engine, we are ready to dive into best practices. Check back for part 3 of the series which will focus on best practices when evaluating Go-to-Market Engine Performance.
John is a Business Development Executive at Statera. He has leveraged his 20+ years of Go-to-Market & Sales Operations experience to help clients solve the Sales Enablement challenges that are impacting cost of sales and win rates. He specializes in helping his clients build business cases and roadmaps for success to ensure that processes, people and technology are aligned to drive high performance.