People, Process, Technology
If you’ve ever seen The Profit with Marcus Lemonis, it’s a TV show where he drops into struggling businesses to try to rescue them before they go under.
He’s the CEO of Camping World and has a long track record of success, so the business owners usually listen to him. His initial analysis focuses on the three big aspects of business success, in his experience: people, process, and product.
All three need to be right in order to get back on track. Usually, one or two is broken and can be addressed quickly.
In our work with Sales Development teams, we see a similar pattern, with an exception. We don’t have a lot of say on the product. We have to go out and sell whatever it is.
Our Big Three to look at are – People, Process, and Technology. If you can get all three right, you can build a predictable pipeline engine. If any of the three are off, that’s where you start addressing the issues.
Breaking it down:
People involves recruiting, onboarding, training, coaching, motivation, performance management, career development, and ability to perform. Having great managers, or at least, someone focused on and managing the program. Paying attention to Sales Development as a strategic initiative vs an afterthought.
Processes is ensuring and enabling everyone on the team to know how to spend time in the most effective way possible. Creating a playbook containing all best practices. A/B testing messages, scripts, team structures, and the processes themselves continuously to find success patterns. Having a repeatable and scalable system for new and current reps. Utilizing Sales, Marketing or RevOps resources to help align the function.
Technology is the Sales Tech installed to create efficiency, speed, and consistency. An aligned tech stack ensures it supports the processes and playbook, yet doesn’t hinder the reps. It produces good reporting that can be used to improve processes. The tech is properly vetted, utilized, monitored, and replaced when no longer necessary.
So you have all three, or some element of them. Still having problems?
Here’s what could potentially be causing roadblocks in your program:
You have people and technology, but no processes [Most common problem]. Start mapping out an ideal process on the whiteboard. Take everything you know and put it in a playbook. Make sure everyone understands what success looks like. Stress test it and tweak it every 90 days.
You have processes and technology, but no people (or the people don’t know what they’re doing). You need better recruiting, better onboarding, better coaching, and training. We are years away from replacing Sales Reps with robots so you still need to get this right.
You have people and processes, but no technology. Everyone’s working out of Windows XP and Southwest Airlines-style laptops with the little red dot (google it). You may be able to limp along but you’ll be blown away by competitors utilizing the gazillion Sales Tech Tools that are available. Upgrade now.
We dive further into the details… Grab the first chapter of our book The Sales Development Framework here, free.