The Permanent and Unchanging Pillars of a Blueprint for Scaling Sales
- In B2B SaaS, there are many commonalities and fundamental consistencies
- These don’t change much from one B2B SaaS company to another – they are fairly consistent
- I call them “Sales Pillars” when it comes to the commonalities that are consistent in sales management
- Thus, based on this premise, it is very possible to create playbooks, strategies or blueprints that work the same way
- However, every company has its own unique context so there will be a need to customize/personalize plays and tactics to each circumstance
Here is something that seems to surprise some people – every “playbook (strategies, processes, blueprints, and tactics) for sales growth” from company to company has fundamental pillars that are consistent and won’t change much whether you are at one company or another. In other words, will be consistent pillars that every experienced VP of Sales can re-apply again and again and they will be effective each time. And then there will be things that will vary and will be different and many considerable differences plus nuanced decisions and some additional tweaks that will be based on the circumstances of the new business.
For example, no one playbook for any NFL football team can be just copied by another team. In fact the playbook for any given team will typically change from one year to another. The reason is that the new plays will depend on multiple different variables such as: who do you have on the team this year, what are these player’s strengths and weaknesses, also which teams are we playing this season so that we can have specific plays against that team while neutralizing the opponent’s strengths with our custom approach in the playbook. But there will be some consistent pillars in every playbook – every game will include offensive passes and runs, every playbook will have plays for defense from stopping the run to stopping the pass and there will always be pillars about special teams. These are just those things that never change – they are the pillars of a football team’s playbook. And in sales there is an analogous set of variegated factors that will be different in the playbook – but these will always stand on top of the consistent pillars.
Here is the key to understanding how to scale sales growth – these consistent pillars in sales management function the same everywhere no matter what the circumstance. These pillars are consistent from company to company. Just like every house needs a foundation and walls and a roof, in the same way, every sales organization and sales growth process has fundamental things that will be consistent with just some tweaks and variations.
What Factors are Different – What Affects the Changes in the Blueprint to Scale Sales?
Of course, there will be just as many factors and decisions that will vary based on context and circumstances:
- target market
- type of target customer and customer’s preferred buying process
- GTM strategy
- deal sizes and segments
- size of the sales team
- org structure of the sales team
- goals and quota targets
What Will Not Change and Be Consistent in Every Blueprint to Scale Sales?
Here is the thing, sales is sales (i.e. best practices of selling well are the same everywhere), management is management (this also is the same irrespective of the company or industry), recruiting is recruiting, best effective ways of coaching teams is also the same everywhere, the effort of implementing processes is done the same way even if the process in itself varies.
- How you assess your sales group capabilities (i.e. you use the same or very similar approach everywhere)
- The overarching process to “make your number / achieve your sales goal” as a VP of Sales
- The blueprint for effective sales execution on the team
- How to recruit great people correctly (i.e. you try to recruit A-players the same way)
- How to create a Culture of Accountability on your sales team
- How to sell effectively (you prospect, qualify and build relationships the same way)
- What kinds of sales skills every sales rep should master (same for every company and industry)
- The need to create a repeatable sales process (every sales team needs a repeatable sales process)
- Pipeline Management (etc.)
- Leading people effectively (etc.)
- Typical problems that prevent effective leadership (etc.)
- Communicating well and creating team alignment (etc.)
- Coaching your sales reps (any sales rep must be coached well, irrespective of company or industry)
- etc. etc. etc.
- etc. etc.
As you see, there are so many “Pillars” that won’t vary much…and the list can go on and on and on.
The point is that when a VP of Sales communicates their process or blueprint for how they can scale sales, what they really mean is to communicate the consistent, unchanging Pillars of the process that works exactly the same way everywhere (or generally in 99% of cases). But a good VP of Sales will also add a few variables that will change and will explain those as well as the facts that they need to gather in order to inform them of how to add on to this playbook.