In a recent article, “The Sales Leadership Challenges to Having a World Class Sales Force” published by Dave Kurlan
of Objective Management Group, he described the elements of a world-class sales organization.  I agree with the list he compiled.  He listed the following points:sales_force_effectivenss-resized-600

  • Sales Leadership
  • Sales Architecture
  • Sales Infrastructure
  • Sales Talent Management
  • Sales Enablement
  • Sales Human Capital

Many CEOs aspire to have or build a “world-class” sales organization.  Many believe they already have one.  So how does your organization measure up?  Do you have effective Sales Leadership in place?  Notice I said EFFECTIVE?  Be honest.  Effective Sales Leadership is not that easy to come by.  Are the sales leaders holding the sales team accountable to specific behaviors and activities that will produce results?  Are the team members coached on a regular basis to improve effectiveness in sales situations?   I cannot emphasize the importance of effective sales leadership enough.  It is hard to succeed without effective sales leadership.  The other elements are highly important as well and include:

Sales Architecture refers to the channel, territories, workflow, organizational structure, etc

Sales Infrastructure describes the metrics, the sales KPIs, the selling system etc

Sales Talent Management has to do with the recruiting process, sourcing, interviewing, on-boarding and the like

Sales Enablement is the process of sales force development, go-to-market strategy, sales methodology etc

Sales Human Capital deals with your people, their DNA, the required skills, the growth of those people etc

Whew!  That is a lot, but the presence of all these elements would indeed describe a world-class sales organization.  So you may be saying “Too much.  I can’t focus on it all.” So start with establishing all these elements first.  Start with the people.  Make sure you have world class sales leadership in place.  Utilize an effective Sales Talent Management process to find and hire the right people and be absolutely certain your existing crew has the right DNA for your sales environment.  Establish appropriate goals and metrics.  What are the items we need to measure?  What are those behaviors that if done consistently, would assure success?  Then establish those behaviors as standards.   Draw a line in the sand and do not accept mediocrity.   Every element may not be fully developed from the list above at the outset, but start and then work to continuously improve upon each aspect.