A London-based media company faced increased competition and a legacy sales model focused on transactional selling. To drive growth, the company needed to change selling behavior to drive more profitable, longer-term contracts. The sales force required a new approach to account targeting, territories, quotas and sales compensation.
The 2009 recession left a deep impression on the organization. For several years, the company survived through the scrappy efforts of an aggressive, short-term focused transitional sales force. However, the new CEO recognized the limitations of this approach as it pertained to long term profitable growth. The sales force suffered from high turnover and was not penetrating large accounts.
Working closely with the CEO, vice president of sales, and newly formed sales operations team, the Alexander Group (AGI) devised a strategy to focus selling roles on larger accounts and longer-term contracts. To gain buy-in, AGI spent time educating mid-level management as well as finance and HR teams on best practices. Over the course of several collaborative design sessions, AGI clarified job roles and created new territories, quotas and sales compensation plans. Cost modeling led to additional iterations and plan refinements. The implementation occurred in stages across the different lines of business. AGI partnered with the new sales operations team to transfer knowledge and skills to manage the new program on a go-forward basis.
The new program led to immediate results. Average contract lengths doubled within three months. The percent of sales people reaching quota also increased dramatically given the improved account focus, larger deals and more motivational incentive program.
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