Six steps to transform your marketing and sales capabilities

  • April 21, 2021
Infographic: six steps to transform your marketing and sales capabilities

Business leaders face multiple challenges in delivering optimal results. It takes more than mergers, acquisitions, and hiring new talent. These elements are important on their own but for true growth, a revolution is needed.

70% of organizational failures are largely due to an organization’s inability to adapt to changing trends. While this may prompt unwarranted caution, an organizational leader needs to exercise courage and a visionary approach when bringing a change.

Marketing capabilities: what is the hype all about? 

The marketing capabilities definition still eludes some teams. Most organizations believe that the transformation of marketing capabilities involves training and development of a marketing team. That’s a misconception. The marketing capability statement goes beyond this. So, it’s best to take a look at what it entails.

A business is likely to transform its marketing and sales capabilities when the entire organization learns to excel at delivering superior value to clients.

The key is to get the entire teams involved in business processes to yield profitability. This accounts for dedicated leadership as the objective is to fuel every department of the organization with the essence of sales and marketing.

The marketing capability statement chalks out your business competencies and convinces potential customers about doing business with your organization.

This write-up will detail you about leading a commercial transformation. From pricing to sales and marketing capabilities, this new approach will deliver you new and improved results. So, here are the six steps to transform your marketing and sales capabilities.

Step 1: Know where you’re headed!

The first step in leading organizational change is recognizing the problems your organization is facing. You should envision where your organization is headed. But most importantly, that vision should be founded on solid data, not on gut instincts.

It’s very common to see businesses unaware of their sales, operations, and marketing capabilities. High-performing businesses regularly take into account their issues and their capabilities. This data is needed by the strategists for steering the organization in the right direction. To transform an organization, it’s crucial to identify all its strengths and weaknesses. They should then map out all the capabilities and how to build upon those.

An organization also needs to be proficient in digital marketing capabilities to compete in this day and age.

The best way to achieve this target is to break it down into achievable goals and assign realistic timelines. This propels the team forward with a renewed sense of energy.

Step 2: Get a transformation team on board

The transformation team can be headed by the CEO or head of marketing, sales, or operations. Business unit leaders from all the departments need to be a part of this team. An HR manager and a project manager will be a worthy addition to the team keeping everyone focused on the goals as well as tracking the metrics.

Some key ingredients for commercial transformations are a deep level of trust and open communication. In 63% of the commercial transformations, team health and performance went hand in hand. To keep the team motivated and moving forward, various activities should be undertaken. These activities should help in understanding each person’s motivations and attitudes towards risk and change.

Step 3: Get quick results

Transformations are meaningful and inspirational if they deliver results quickly, ideally within 6 to 12 months. Perceptive companies spot potential opportunities, work on them, and later, expand upon the work for a bigger change. This is one of the six steps to transform your marketing and sales capabilities.

For instance, a heavy equipment manufacturer realized there was a high demand for its products but the customers couldn’t buy it as it was only available through business-to-business channels. The organization placed the product in big-box retailers and within 8 months, noticed a 10% jump in revenue.

Whether it is about implementing B2B marketing capabilities or catering to niches, this shows us how an organization can tap into new segments without disrupting its current ecosystem of retailers and buyers. This deep insight into customer buying helped the organization expand its market. This is the true use of marketing capabilities.

Step 4: Finding the right people

The change has to appear like a ripple effect throughout the organization. C-Suite executives should focus on paradigm-shifting. Managers should focus on building problem-solving skills, improving marketing capabilities, and acquiring product knowledge. Meanwhile, the sales reps will need to zero in on targeted selling and pricing analytics. Each member of the team beautifully integrates like a puzzle piece and each will have a unique role to play in the transformation.

For this, the organization needs to find the right people. In a survey, respondents informed that they deemed committed change leaders as extremely important for the process of organizational transformation.

For instance, at a packaging organization, the senior manager used organizational-healthy-index tools and network-analysis to see who would be at the forefront of the change. It surveyed to see who the most consulted people were whenever anyone from the staff encountered an issue. These people were then celebrated as the ‘change champions.’ These people are the ones who will act as torchbearers and lead the way towards change.

Step 5: Prioritize coaching

Coaching is one of the six steps to transform your marketing and sales capabilities. Coaching leads to real change, all the while, improving the people at the workplace. It builds on strengths, ironing out the weaknesses, and role modeling new behaviors.

One of the ways coaching can pave way for transformation is breaking old habits. For instance, sale managers in an organization were each assigned a ‘super coach.’ This led to better communication and negotiation skills. This was followed by a 25% improvement in the close rates.

Another organization asked its sales managers to conduct daily 15-minute check-in calls with reps who couldn’t achieve their monthly targets. Reps who achieved their targets got a weekly one-on-one session and reps exceeding their targets got a weekly ten-minute praise call.

Regular communication builds the way towards enhanced transformation. One organization had weekly meetings in which the team jotted down the strategy for the upcoming week. This led to incredible results. Close rates per sales team rose by 75%. The average contract value per week saw a rise of 80% and rose as much as 150% for new deals.

This approach transformed the underperforming managers and sales reps into change bringers. 

Step 6: Focus on performance

At the heart of all best organizations lies a high-performance culture. This is the way to ensure success year in and year out. The key personnel should place specific tools and processes to drive the desired behavior. However, even more important is putting into place the right metric and tracking the performance. For instance, when tracking marketing capabilities, it will be important to understand which strategy is successful and which is not.

One of the best ways to track progress is by developing a dashboard. A dashboard helps in tracking not just financial performance but also changes in behavior. This helps in analyzing how marketing is giving a boost to the sales, which tools led to higher close rates, and how often the collaboration meetings took place.

These dashboards also let managers see capability metrics as the training courses undertaken by employees, employees’ performance on the tests, and how that score relates to their performance on the ground.  

For a robust transformation process, organizations can add in-person interviews and surveys to get a complete picture of commercial performance. 

The first measurement can serve as a baseline and the subsequent measurements can help in tracking the progress.

The takeaway

Many organizations are undergoing a stage of sales and marketing transformation. There should be an effective approach to implement changes in daily operations. In that regard, focus and discipline are the key aspects over here.

Another vital aspect is the need for a strong leader, ready to take charge of infusing enthusiasm in the team members. A leader can sustain momentum and supercharge the organization to new heights.

To improve the prospect of success, we should keep in mind the criteria to know that initiatives are successful. Will the focus be on completion or its impact?

With all these aspects under consideration, the transformation process will be a rewarding one for not just the organization but also the employees.

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