The most basic definition of success is simply achieving your goals. But it’s an interesting paradox. If you focus only on the end point, you might actually be hindering your ability to achieve those desired results—especially when it comes to your sales model. Experienced sales executives know that to transform an organization, a strategic sales review provides the foundation for success. 

“Think about the path to achieving sales goals as taking a trip. To reach your destination—or reach your target—it’s helpful to have a map to guide the way.”

When it comes to your sales model, a strategic review can provide key information to guide your journey and ensure a successful outcome. This includes not just the goals, but all the objectives, work steps, processes, and support components you’ll need to maximize your ability to succeed.

This step-by-step guide contains everything you need to create your own roadmap.

Objectives of Transforming Your Sales Model

“Taking a deep dive into how your organization functions will better position your sales team to service their clients effectively and maximize efficiency,” says Joseph DiMisa, Global Sales Strategy & Rewards Advisory Leader at Korn Ferry. He recommends a top-to-bottom review, encompassing everything from sales enablement to channel coverage strategies to performance management. 

Be sure to include all key stakeholders in this exercise so you have a fully informed understanding of current sales processes, and your plan fully considers needs throughout the organization. 

Ideally, a thorough review of your sales model should include the following: 

  • Overall go-to-market strategy, account planning, sales processes, and support to meet revenue growth goals 
  • Benchmarks for organizational structure, process, and job roles 
  • Organizational and account management requirements to best position the salesforce for success, including tools and technology 
  • Success profiles to define and identify sales performance  
  • Opportunities for new structures, processes, and/or roles across the sales organization that will lead to optimal efficiency and effectiveness to drive sales results 

4 Steps to Conducting a Strategic Sales Review 

Step 1: Assess your current sales model 

You can’t build a map to get where you want to go if you don’t know where you are to begin with. And when it comes to developing a roadmap for your sales model, it’s crucial to understand how your current strategies are delivering.  

Are you currently meeting sales targets? How healthy is your pipeline? Do segmentation models align with your product roadmap and corporate strategies? You must be able to answer these questions to identify opportunities for growth and improvement. 

Undertaking a thorough assessment of your current operations confirms your organization’s readiness and capabilities for meeting go-to-market goals. Taking a closer look at end-to-end sales operations is important for identifying gaps in process, jobs, organizational structures, and overall account effectiveness.  

But from market segmentation to support needs, there are a lot of moving parts. A complete strategic sales review should seek to answer the question of how well current capabilities and sales goals and strategies are aligned. 

This should include the following steps: 

  • Conduct a strategic review of your market: What current trends and forces are shaping your market, customers, and products? What challenges and opportunities currently exist or can you foresee? 
  • Review industry practice data (jobs, organizational structure, sales strategies, compensation, etc.) and set benchmarks 
  • Document current sales structure and outline any areas that require support. Are current territory sizes, organizational structure, etc. meeting your needs? Is any additional coverage, support, or management required? 
  • Define current capabilities within your salesforce and identify which competencies are needed  

The goal of this discovery exercise is to pinpoint opportunities for improvement within your sales model. Based on your findings, you should be able to develop more informed processes and structures for the sales function and supporting roles. 

Step 2: Look at your talent 

Winning at sales takes a special mix of skills, competencies, and fit—and this doesn’t always translate across companies or products. The better you understand the factors that help salespeople thrive within your organization, the easier it will be to maintain a high-performing sales structure. 

In this step, you’ll take a closer look at individual roles in your sales channel, with an eye to the key competencies, accountabilities, and skillsets it takes to be successful.  

From here, you’ll be equipped to recognize exactly what “good looks like” in a sales rep. This, in turn, should inform everything from hiring to talent development strategies and plans. 

Your talent review should include the following: 

  • Assessment of current roles and future needs 
  • A review of the top 10% of sales performers, with a focus on what differentiates your superstars 
  • Development of success profiles for new job roles 
  • Revisiting sales structure to ensure alignment of technical competencies

Sales Effectiveness

Breakthrough to immediate, predictable and sustainable sales effectiveness

Step 3: Revisit performance management 

Sales teams are among the most expensive corporate expenditures, but it’s an investment that tends to yield high returns. As a study in the journal Compensation & Benefits Review notes, compensation is a top motivator for successful salespeople.  

But driving sales ROI requires alignment between compensation and rewards and sales performance. Mitigating risk and reducing sales costs isn’t about containing rewards—it’s about ensuring incentive plans reap the intended results. 

In this step, you’ll review and reassess compensation and reward structures to ensure they optimally support a performance-minded culture within the sales team. This should include the following: 

  • Assess and develop performance management and reward structures to support go-to-market strategy and job roles 
  • Model financial cost and finalize plan design and organization outcomes 
  • Compare market/industry practice and review 
  • Finalize KPIs and compensation plans to align with specific corporate objectives/goals 
  • Develop quarterly dashboard 

Step 4: Implement your plan 

A plan won’t do much if it’s sitting in a document on the corporate network. To move the dial, you must integrate your new data-informed strategy into people’s routines. 

Now that you’ve formalized your sales assessment and strategy, you’ll need get buy-in and implement it. Here are some key steps to communicating and rolling out your new and improved sales model. 

  • Develop implementation roadmap, including best practice transformation ideas for the sales organization 
  • Outline requirements for plan administration and sales enablement. If barriers exist, these should be identified and addressed 
  • Communicate high-level value proposition of new strategy; tailor key messages and rollout to recipients as required 

Applying Strategy to Your Daily Sales Routine  

When it comes to reaching sales goals, there’s no one-size-fits-all route that works for every organization. Sales transformation success requires a strategic examination of both the broader market and your internal operations. 

Following these steps is an exercise that can pay off and ensure individuals and teams within your organization have everything they need to be successful. 

Of course, it might take more than a change to your business model to build and embed sustainable change in a sales organization. Find out how transforming your sales culture can help teams respond effectively to internal and external disruption.