Transforming your staffing firm and specifically your sales organization is no small order nor is it for the faint of heart. It requires a clear vision, executive leadership including commitment from the CEO, careful and thoughtful planning, and a lot of hard work. Most of call, it requires the ability to effectively lead organizational change. But what exactly is sales transformation and how does one know if they need a sales transformation?
In this blog post I'm going to share with you what sales transformation is and some sample use cases highlighting when and why a staffing firm would embark on a sales transformation initiative.
Sales Transformation Defined
Sales transformation is going from simply talking about what changes are going to be made to achieve sales growth to operationalizing and executing those changes so that the transformation sticks. Companies come up with ideas-big and small-that represent a shift in focus as to how they will achieve their growth goals. These shifts almost always represent a change from how they currently do things. So in it's simplest form, transformation means change.
Sales transformation could be a complete overhaul or a slight change in your sales operating model such as your sales strategy, go-to-market strategy, compensation plans, sales process, sales onboarding, sales methodology, or your sales metrics and performance management system. If you were to change any one of these elements or a combination of these elements it would most likely represent a shift in focus from how you currently operate. Again, you can think of this shift as the "transformation."
Some of the common scenarios and business drivers that compel staffing leaders to embark on a sales transformation initiative include:
- Inability to effective scale the business
- Merger or acquisition
- Can no longer effectively compete in a specific market
- Entering a new market such as abandoning VMS and MSP customers for mid-market customers
- Implementing a new CRM
- Implementing a new ATS
- Rolling out sales training or recruiter training
In each scenario, the CEO and the leadership team make a strategic decision to take the company in a new direction in which the sales team will be required to shift their focus and change how they operate. Sales transformation is the process of operationalizing and executing this change.
The challenge with transformation is getting change to stick in the field. According to John Kotter who is regarded by many as the authoritative thought leader on leading change and a New York Times best-selling author and Harvard Professor, 70% of all ideas never get operationalized and fail to make it to the field level. But there are steps and actions that leaders can take to sustain their transformational efforts.
What changes are you trying to implement and operationalize in your staffing business? What are you finding most challenging about getting those changes to "stick?" Let's start a conversation in the comments section below. Or, for more information check out my blog, the sales leader and CEO's guide to sales transformation.