8 Top Tips for Effective Sales Transformation

In this article, I’ll cover what sales transformation is, along with eight surefire ways to successfully transform your sales process. These include ensuring your sales team is on board with the plan, adding OKRs to your plan, periodically tracking progress, and more.

Modern businesses need to constantly adapt and evolve if they want to survive. And if there’s one department that must be equipped to handle change – is sales.

Because without sales, there’s no revenue.

And without revenue, there’s no business!

This period of change that sales teams must undergo from time to time in order to stay relevant is known as sales transformation.

In this article, let’s take a closer look at the concept of sales transformation. I’ll explain what it means, and its benefits. I’ll also highlight some proven strategies to help ensure your sales transformation efforts are a roaring success.

Let’s dive right in!

What is Sales Transformation?

Sales transformation is the process of making one or several changes to your existing sales operations in order to achieve a specific business goal.

Initiating a sales transformation strategy often starts with big-picture questions like:

  • Which product segment do we want to enter next?
  • How can we increase revenue in so-and-so markets?
  • Which of our products could do better? And how can we make that happen?

Let’s understand this process with an example.

I’ll take that first question and apply it to a life insurance provider who wants to add health insurance to its product portfolio.

In such a case, the insurance provider’s sales transformation strategy would involve:

  • Educating and training its sales team so they can start selling the new health insurance product.
  • Hiring senior sales reps from other companies who have tons of experience selling health insurance.
  • Taking part in related expos and trade shows.
  • Reaching out to hospitals and clinics in order to build a robust client referral network.

Sounds like a lot of work, right?

Luckily, here are some major benefits that you get:

  • Enhances productivity by streamlining operations, automating processes, and leveraging the right technologies.
  • Brings in more revenue through consolidated efforts and systematic planning.
  • Increases and sustains sales team motivation by defining clear roles for each team member.
  • Improves customer loyalty by delivering higher customer satisfaction.
  • Accurate revenue forecasting due to improved pipeline transparency.
  • Helps companies reach and exceed their sales objectives as it encourages the right sales activities.

8 Surefire Ways for an Effective Sales Transformation

Here are eight proven ways to help ensure your sales transformation efforts are successful and effective:

1. Make sure your sales team is on board with the plan

According to this State of Sales report, in 2022, sales reps spent only 28% of their week selling, down from 34% in 2018.

Clearly, no matter the industry or product, there is always scope for change.

But even after you’ve identified objectives that require sales transformation, your sales team needs to be convinced of this decision.


They might not share your level of understanding or be as open to changing their approach, especially if they’ve been hitting their targets.

That’s why it’s crucial for sales leaders to clearly communicate the reasons behind sales transformation.

Only when your team is truly on board with the plan will it be a success!

2. Leverage sales compensation

A sales compensation plan is like a bible for your sales reps. It influences the way they think, the way they work, and how they prioritize their goals.

Since sales transformation also involves prioritizing goals (but on an organizational level), syncing your sales compensation plan with your sales transformation goals is a no-brainer.

Let’s say one of your main objectives is to reduce churn (the rate at which customers leave you). One way to achieve this is by tweaking your sales compensation plan to include higher incentives for customer retention.

That way, your sales reps will focus more on keeping existing customers happy, as opposed to bringing in new ones.

3. Baby steps at first, bigger strides later

Even the tiniest change to your sales process can have far-reaching effects, influencing the way other departments operate.

While marketing is the department most likely to be affected by sales transformation, others like HR and finance also stand to be impacted. That’s why it’s best to start with just one or two elements of your plan and test the waters as you go along.

For instance, if your plan is to digitize your entire sales operations, you could start with a basic CRM for entering and updating leads.

Once your team gets used to that, you could move on to enterprise-level software that involves automating certain sales functions handled by finance and payroll.

4. Add OKRs to your plan

Objectives & Key Results (OKRs) is a goal-setting strategy where larger objectives are broken down into smaller, manageable goals known as ‘key results’.

This strategy makes it easier for your reps to understand the intricacies of your plan because you’re essentially breaking down the big picture into bite-sized frames.

So, if your overall goal is to increase customer satisfaction, a key result for your reps could be scoring at least 4 out of 5 stars in customer feedback forms.

Setting smaller goals that are easier to achieve prevents your reps from being too overwhelmed, and also provides them with some much-needed motivational bursts.

5. Align marketing and sales

Marketing and sales are like two sides of the same coin. Always have been, and always will be.

That is why, regardless of the end goal, the success of any sales transformation plan will always hinge on (to some extent) the performance of your marketing team.

Time for another example!

Say you’re launching a new product and you want your sales team to generate ‘X’ dollars in revenue from that product in the first 3 months.

Assuming the ‘X’ is a reasonably aggressive number, your sales and marketing teams will need to work in tandem if the goal is to be met. This translates to being on the same page at all times, speaking the same language, and telling the same stories.

6. Periodically track progress

No plan is foolproof.

Errors and adjustments are a part and parcel of any plan.

But you’re only going to be able to spot mistakes and correct them in time if you regularly check in to see how things are going.

The same applies to your sales transformation plan. You need to keep a close eye on every aspect of your plan, then double down on what’s working and scale back on what’s not.

Moreover, tracking your plan regularly lets you see which reps are adjusting well to the new processes and which ones are struggling to cope.

7. Empower your reps with the right tools

Your reps might be wizards when it comes to client relations and closing deals, but you need to leverage the right technologies so they can perform even better.

Remember, every sales transformation plan can benefit from some sort of automation technology. The one(s) you choose depends entirely on what your goals are.

However, this doesn’t mean giving your reps as many tools as you can. Doing so will only slow them down.

8. Use add-on programs to further incentivize your reps

While sales compensation plans are a great way to incentivize your sales team, it’s not that easy to tweak them once you roll them out.

And given that sales transformation is an ongoing process involving challenges that require ad-hoc solutions, you also need short-term incentives to drive the right behaviors from your reps.

This is where add-on programs come in.

You can offer bonuses, rewards, spot awards, and even spiffs as they are an excellent way to generate hyper-focussed sales efforts over a concentrated period of time.

Key Takeaways

Sales transformation is not a trivial pursuit, and it should never be treated as one.

Whether the endgame is more money, more customers, or more products, the guiding principles remain the same.

Start with informing your team about your sales transformation plan, then go about executing the plan in a structured and orderly manner. And as you do so, always keep an eye on how things are panning out.

Check out the tips mentioned in this article to execute sales transformation successfully!

Aloha, good folks 👋

Managing sales commissions over spreadsheets is a soul-sucker.

Here’s why:

• You can’t track commission data in real-time as it’s not integrated with your CRM or invoicing software.

• You find yourself resolving way too many disputes and answering tons of back-and-forth emails.

ElevateHQ kills this drama.

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