The Macro Environment

Because of the quarterly demands that publicly traded companies and their sales function adhere to, it’s critical for their reputation to maintain a consistent rhythm in sales results. The organisations that achieve this are quite often highly disciplined, organised, networked, and motivated. You can achieve these hallmarks by introducing a function into your company whose sole purpose is to drive a programmatic approach to sales. Let’s explore why this is important.


1. The Culture

Any sales organisation worth its merit wishes to create a winning, motivated and highly-tuned in execution team. Culture and environment have a huge impact on this. Culture is the bedrock of any team. Creating a culture requires time to seep in and become the norm. Most importantly; it’s something that you can have control over and can give you the edge on your competition.


“Corporate culture is the only sustainable competitive advantage that is completely within the control of the entrepreneur. Develop a strong corporate culture first and foremost”

- Dave Cummings, Founder of Pardot [acquired by Salesforce]


Comparison of the Corporate and Professional Sports World

Compare the corporate world to professional sports teams, where a huge awareness and care is taken in creating a winning and hard-work ethic based culture. A program-led approach executes this in this world.  The culture and programs mean there is an attention to detail to everything they do. Here’s a snapshot of what that really means and how it reinforces a winning culture:


  • Setting a behavioural standard and value set to live by
  • Empowering players to make decisions, influence others and set the group culture
  • Nurturing a physical environment that encourages a professional mindset
  • Analysing the competition through rigorous video analysis
  • Continuous fine-tuning of physical skill-set 
  • Mental preparation for the intensity of match conditions
  • A play-by-play analysis of the playbook
  • Contingency planning for when things go wrong
  • Overall attention to detail in everything they do


It’s the processes, governance and methods above that maintain and nurture the culture. 

Relate this to the corporate world and sales environment; similarly themed building blocks are required. In fact, put the above building blocks with the context of a sales organisation and they entirely make sense. It is the role of a Sales Programs Manager, alongside sales management, to manage the tactical execution of the above.


2. The Sweet-Spot of Sales: Predictability to Performance

A Sales Programs function conducts an analysis of sales performance metrics and provides insight to management -- acting as a business advisory role of sorts. Ideally, using best in-class analytics tools, this team analyses sales pipeline metrics, sales rep. performance forecasted sales and the myriad of related matters. They shine a light on the good and bad through data-based insights. 

Take for example these common issues in sales and how predictability to them is the sweet-spot of sales. An unpredictability in any of the given examples can lead to a deterioration in confidence in the company and management.


  • A forecast figure missed
  • An uneven trend in your sales pipeline generation
  • An underperforming product or service line
  • A lack of sales pipeline to cover your committed to close figure
  • A geography underperforming compared to benchmarks
  • Forecasted close dates continually being missed
  • Deal sizes not correlating to a healthy mix for reliability


Beyond simple management discussion on the above issues, it’s critical to put in place governance that gives you control over them. One of the primary goals of a Sales Programs function is to drive this governance and hopefully resulting in better predictability to results. 


3. Achieving Operational Excellence

I mentioned at the beginning that the organisations that excel, amongst many other factors of course, are the ones that are highly motivated, organised, disciplined, and networked. A Sales Programs function maintains the processes that address the above.

Without this degree of organisation, the rigour and demands of sales can result in peaks and troughs in performance. Organisation and discipline help negate this. A Sales Programs function provides a programmatic way of your teams working, bringing scalability and repeatability to the organisation and discipline. 

The three points made here are all wholly intertwined in achieving operational excellence and a high-performing sales team. Salesforce adopts the described programmatic approach -- globally. Read how Salesforce addresses the topic of culture, and how our values and methods reinforce the reason we come to work every day.


To get going with your own sales transformation, download this e-book to discover the 7 steps to sales success