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How Disruption Selling Closes the Loop Between Growth Strategy and Sales Execution

Disruption Selling isn’t yet another sales methodology. Instead it combines a number of proven concepts to close the loop between the corporate growth strategy, the sales and marketing plan, and the execution all the way down to individual (B2B) sales cycles.


A holistic approach we missed at all companies we worked with and for, even the best performing ones!



Typical Signs of the Broken Strategy Execution Loop

Everybody in sales has come across the impact of a disconnect between growth strategy, marketing, and sales, e.g., new products sales couldn’t find demand for, entering new target market segments without a clear understanding of customer expectations, new partnerships resulting in channel conflicts, acquisition of products sales couldn’t integrate into their offering. At the core of these signs we commonly find the following organizational deficiencies:


Unstable Yet Critical Growth Strategy Assumptions

Anybody getting involved in startups sooner or later comes across a business plan starting with a giant, multi-billion Total Addressable Market (TAM) the new, magical piece of technology or business model sets out to conquer. If this business plan is put into motion without going through a series of carefully planned and executed Sales Campaigns it will most likely result in sales and marketing resources invested into ill-defined and unvalidated Target Market Segments (TMS) delivering mediocre returns, if any.


Sales and Marketing Disconnect

Sales and Marketing are typically organized in disjunct silos from the very top of an organization downwards. As a result, the growth strategy is split at a high level into the Sales Plan and a completely separate Marketing Plan. From here both organizations continue to break down their goals and objectives within their respective silo, usually creating even more silos on their way. At arrival on operational level both plans are completely disconnected, marketing is pushing offerings sales cannot fit into their TMS and Target Account strategies, and sales starts to build their own marketing pitches to generate customer interest.


Inconsistent Incentive Plans

We often find incentive plans completely disconnected from the goals defined in the growth strategy, e.g. commission paid on no-growth revenues, on unearned revenues, or on uncommitted Total Contract Values, resulting in counter-strategic behavior of sales staff.


Hiring the Wrong Profiles

The bigger the distance between the executive level of the organization formulating the growth strategy and the operational level executing it, the more likely profiles of new hires don’t fit the strategy. For example, if sales management continues to hire Early Adopter Sales profiles but misses to hire Mainstream Sales profiles the company runs the risk of failing in crossing the chasm.


Disconnected Reporting

If the growth strategy isn’t consistently broken down to the execution level, reporting systems emerge that measure metrics irrelevant for delivering on the growth strategy while missing to measure metrics relevant for it. A typical example is missing to measure the length of sales cycles. When entering a new TMS we must expect unsuccessful sales cycles to be very short (the value proposition doesn’t resonate at all) and successful ones to be very long (where the new value proposition is honed over time). Once we achieve Product Market Fit we should see shortening successful sales cycles as our value proposition better resonates already from the start in combination with an increased conversion rate. 


The Disruption Selling Closed Loop Execution Model

In Disruption Selling we close the loop between growth strategy and execution.



Growth Strategy Breakdown

The Growth Strategy is broken down into one integrated Sales and Marketing Plan specifying the TAM and the according Go-to-Market Model.


Sales and Marketing Plan Breakdown

The Sales and Marketing Plan is then broken down into TMS Plans which define Sales Campaigns for joint execution by sales, product, and field marketing. Note that even on this level of detail sales and marketing share common goals for developing TMS!


TMS Plans

For each TMS Sales Campaigns are described with Sales Plays for entire TMS and Sales Initiatives for individual Target Accounts.


Growth Strategy Execution Management

Reporting flows from the operational level up to the executive board providing full detail on the progress made in TMS and individual Target Accounts as a result of Sales Campaign outcomes. This way the growth strategy execution is assessed on a quarterly basis and adjusted accordingly, e.g., the decision to abandon a TMS in exchange for entering into another one.


Resource Allocation

The model allocates resources dynamically, e.g., sales and marketing resources are immediately shifted out of abandoned TMS into new ones, unsuccessful Sales Campaigns are stopped the moment they don’t deliver the expected outcomes. New hire profiles are modified as soon as the successful penetration of a TMS indicates a shift to later-stage innovation adopter categories.


Results

The Disruption Selling Closed Loop Execution Model drives measurable and sustainable improvements in revenue growth, margin, and market power for a Disruptor.


Revenue Growth

The improved collaboration of sales and marketing compresses the learning curve in new TMS and thus delivers shorter time to Product Market Fit. Focused Sales Campaigns increase conversion rates and average deal sizes.


Margin Improvement

More targeted Value Propositions lead to better performing Sales Campaigns, lower discount levels and together with higher conversion rates drive up Revenues per Employee.


Market Power Increase

Shortening the time to Product Market Fit and Go-to-Market Fit generates first mover advantages, higher market share, bigger ecosystem leverage, and market leadership perception.


Summary

Disruption Selling is not a sales methodology. Instead it is a closed loop approach to drive growth strategy execution top down and rapid and detailed feedback bottom up. It establishes a direct communication between the Executive Board, Sales and Marketing Management and Sales and drives Working Backwards across the entire customer-facing part of the organization.


By securing and accelerating strategy execution Disruption Selling delivers value to shareholders all the way down to the field and ultimately also customers. In our next posts we will expand on how the various stakeholders benefit in more detail.

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