20 Jan The Case for Assessment – It’s Open and Shut!
When decisions are based on instinct and what leaders think will happen, they aren’t based in fact. This means every part of the sales plan, forecast, etc. is a best-guess.
At a recent workshop for a US$6Bn annual revenue company, the sales leaders were gathered in the War-Room for several days to consider the results of an organizational assessment when the CRO went to the white-board and wrote the word “think” in big letters. He then proceeded to cross it out and said to the team that reported to him “the next person who uses this word in the beginning of a statement will be fired!” Of course, he was exaggerating, but the team finally got it and from that point forward called each other out if their statements were not based in fact.
Fast forward to an organizational assessment we conducted on a global outsourcing services company, that had recently appointed a new managing director of their business in India. The MD knew changes were required to improve business performance and wanted an objective assessment of the sales organisation to provide an evidence-base on which he could make decisions about priorities for action that would deliver rapid ROI.
Using our proven methodology and rapid delivery process we interviewed clients and team members and gathered data through surveys and existing CRM and HRI systems. We delivered an organisational assessment measuring the sales function against benchmarks in 6 proven dimensions of the Sales Performance System – including Demand Generation, Management of Opportunities, Management of Relationships, Talent Lifecycle Management, Leadership and Management, and Sales Enablement. We reported back on 50+ benchmarks highlighting where the company rated in relation to best-in-class organisations. Using a maturity modelling system we identified where incremental investments would have most impact in the shortest timeframes.
On examination of the output of the assessment work completed, Global Sales Leaders concluded that the original analysis represented the Sales Ecosystem of the entire organization world-wide. This led to a Global Sales Transformation effort that spanned 30+ countries and included over 1,500 salespeople and included:
- Rationalization of sales processes for 7 lines of business in over 30 countries
- Profiling the most current, predictive, competency profiles for 9 sales roles across the globe
- Applying psychometric assessments to over 1,500 salespeople globally
- Development of sales and sales management playbooks that defined the future of selling for this organization
- Alignment of Sales and Marketing functions that improved demand generation and increased close ratios of Marketing Generated Leads
The sales transformation for this company spanned over 7 months of work but was phased in its delivery to include early “quick wins” to establish momentum and ensure buy-in from sales leaders in all lines of business across 30+ countries globally.
Oak Island Associates went on to codify this approach in its SalesmeasureTM organizational sales system assessment, allowing us to rapidly, and at relatively low cost, assess an organization’s sales performance system and determine, in collaboration with the Sales Leaders in the organization, quick wins and longer-term countermeasures that ensure ongoing ROI.
 Xactly Corporation, How to Measure Sales Performance Fully and Completely, 2019