Annual planning is notoriously known as a taxing exercise on sales and revenue operations. Planning requires significant preparation and proper sequencing of key activities to ensure next year’s plan properly aligns to your firm’s business strategy and associated financial goals. But what happens if your annual planning exercise is concurrent with a newly initiated business transformation? While managing annual planning through a transformation complicates the process, revenue leaders can thoughtfully plan for business transformations within the annual planning process if they know what to look for and have a plan to address increased change management needs that accompany business transformations.
So, where to begin? To answer this question, we’ll explore three key areas:
Business transformations are bold and fundamental changes to how the organization operates across human capital, processes and technology. Importantly, transformations significantly change how the business operates internally, with customers and/or with partners. Because the change is significant, transformations require an increased level of change management and planning.
To give illustrations of transformations, we identified four typical current situations in the Technology industry.
Each of the above transformations impact GTM planning with key considerations to address. These impacts can span many areas of planning including resegmentation of customers, changes to coverage model, customer engagement model as well as organizational structure, role design, sales compensation, systems and tools.
Some key examples of these considerations include:
Business Model Shift to a SaaS Offer: Job Roles & Post Sale Focus
The post-sale focus requires additional change management. Use job role redesign and Rules of Engagement to support coverage changes. Gain alignment for how to maximize customer adoption by organizing core AEs and CSMs to collaborate when driving customer value realization. For example, AEs and CSMs should link account business plans to customer success plans. The post-sale changes may need extensive enablement or the addition of specialist resources to help evolve the salesforce to the new selling motions. With the move to a recurring revenue model, determine the right level of core seller focus with renewals and break down key activities involved.
New Routes to Market for E-commerce: Systems, Tools and Proactive Sales Plays
Moving to e-commerce or self-service options for customers increases the need for tools and reporting. Plan for tools and telemetry that will enable job roles to monitor and support high velocity transactions with programmatic support. Consider the need to set up internal resources to provide first line support for self-service customers when issues arise.
Changing Customer Expectations: Buyer Journey, Digital Enablement and Job Roles
Know and monitor the buyer journey and utilize information to create enhanced propensity to buy algorithms. Customers will be more educated on solutions and options by the time a seller has the first call. Leverage enhanced tools for salespeople to understand the customer’s journey and potential needs in advance of initial calls. Sales roles should evolve to be more consultative and provide business value as part of the initial discussion.
Innovation for Consumption Pricing Models: Coverage, Job Roles and Sales Compensation
Shifting to consumption has widespread impacts ranging from sales talent recruitment to sales compensation. If primarily selling to business or functional buyers, consider moving to a bifurcated coverage model. Understand coverage implications and gain alignment on the desired behaviors when deploying different consumption models (pay as you go, committed contracts or uncommitted).
While this is not a comprehensive set of considerations, the point should restate that the effects of transformations are not trivial.
Identifying a business transformation upfront will enable teams to adjust annual planning steps and alter their approach to mitigate risk with better alignment across teams.