Two Major Disadvantages of Self-Developing a Digital Sales Transformation Certification

Jamie Shanks
Jamie Shanks

You have a teammate or team internally that has convinced you that they can build a Digital Sales Certification. Perhaps they have even alluded to being capable of scaling the program nationally or globally.

Understanding the core strategies within Social Selling Mastery®, and re-building, executing and creating millions in sales pipeline on your own… those are two VERY different things!  

Results come from execution, not ideation.  Let’s explore the two major disadvantages that will arise in your self-developed program:

1.Ideas don’t execute themselves.  How specifically will you create results?

In the book The Hard Thing about the Hard Things, many people talk about starting companies, but very few can execute. The ideation of the core strategies within Social Selling Mastery® – account selection, account planning, and account engagement, these pillars provide very much public knowledge. The real question is HOW can your internal team create, execute, coach, and reinforce a program that ensures results?  20% incremental sales pipeline results in six to 12 months?

Execution & Results

a.Design – First, what are the learning elements we need to create adoption?  Workshops with PPT decks are not good enough.  Will we have videos, guides, quizzes, assignments?  Will the courseware reside in a Learning Management System?  Who’s going to build a program?  The average design studio (assuming you had an instructional designer on staff) can design content in three to six months.  Do you have that time?

b.Coaching – The single most important long-term success factor resides with sales leadership.  Have they bought into change? Do they understand which actions/activities will highly influence their sales objectives?  Who and how will you skill up front-line sales managers to coach towards these skills to ensure long-term adoption?  Truthfully, if you knew how to execute leadership coaching before, you would have done this already?

c.Training Execution – How specifically will you deliver training? Because a workshop is not the answer.  What are best practices to increase learning absorption, and has your team refined that process with hundred  of executions?  Assuming you create weekly learning modules with assignments for practicums, who will grade the dozens and dozens of assignments each week, and provide personalized coaching feedback?  How will you ensure you personally help a seller who’s falling behind?  Your internal team has a full-time job!

d.Reinforcement – Assuming your get far enough to create and execute a certification process, how will you offer personal coaching to each sales professional WHEN questions/concerns/digital platforms evolve?  Who will run your newly developed daily Coaching Hotline, that scales globally?

e.Measurement – How specifically will your team measure the program?  Leading indicators so you can make adjustments in real-time?  What activity levels are considered “best-in-class”, and how do you compare?  How will you build a ROI calculation and business case within 90 days of planning this program?

The reality is that your company would take up to one year to plan, design, execute and program, and that hasn’t been battle tested.  The program would be designed in a vacuum with no opportunity for refinement.  What does all this TIME cost you?

2.Time is extremely costly.  What does each month cost you?

Let’s assume the following:
Revenue Goal = $100,000,000
Expected Pipeline Coverage = 3x (your team wins an industry benchmark 33% of deals)
Total Sales Pipeline Requirements = $300,000,000

This means that every 30 days, your team is creating or managing $25,000,000 in sales pipeline!  Assume that 80% of your revenue is recurring, and 20% net new is your true sales pipeline to concentrate on, you need $5,000,000 a month in pipeline!

New Pipeline Requirements = $60,000,000 ($5,000,000 per month)

Remember – if you know how to execute a digital sales transformation, why haven’t you executed this already?

Time of expensive

For the first X number of months (typically three to six months), your team is planning and designing for execution.  Otherwise, they are merely cobbling together tips, tricks, and tactics that will have no long-term change management and reinforcement mechanism.  Alternatively, we would have already executed, certified, and created $1,000,000’s in sales pipeline together (see case studies).

Month-by-month your team learns, vs. month-by-month we’d be building $1,000,000 in pipeline.

Here is a study done by CA Technologies.  Sellers that became certified with Social Selling Mastery® created 38% more revenue, and 55% more sales pipeline in six months from this program.  And remember, the tips and strategies are not core success factors.  It’s the long-term coaching and reinforcing the models into your sales process and one-on-one’s. 

Total open Pipes 

Has your internal program been battle tested to ensure the same success?  You don’t get time back.

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