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The sales excellence function is the perfect marriage between sales enablement and data analysis. What would that look like in your company?

In this episode, I speak with Lucrezia Keane, SVP Sales Excellence at GWI, about what their new sales excellence function has achieved and where it’s going next. 

Join us as we discuss:

  • The intricate relationship between sales excellence and sales tools
  • Why sales teams should report to sales excellence
  • How advance planning reduces friction during implementation

Let’s get into it!


The intricate relationship between sales excellence and sales tools

Tools are meant to enhance productivity and simplify processes. Let’s take a look at a couple of Lucrezia’s favorites: 

Being in sales isn’t only about finding prospects and mining data. Creativity also plays a sizable role. Using video—via Vidyard—instead of email outreach has proven to be a step up for engaging with people, a way to put faces to names and connect.

Personalization is what speaks to leads, and what better way to personalize something than a customized video to show you care?

The relationship between sales and tools comes down to information (data, analytics, etc.) but the heart of it is this: What problem is it solving? What is this software providing for SDRs? How is it improving the customer experience?

Ask yourself those questions before implementing a new tool. They’re meant to increase productivity, not hinder it. Analyze the situation and rule out any irrelevant fluff—remember that not all good tools are good for your team.


Why sales teams should report to sales excellence

Sales excellence supports both individuals and the larger scale—from data and analytics, to strategy, to company culture. Their business is in excellence, after all!

As a whole, they look out for the team.

“As a company, we want to make sure we’re in a position where we’re able to promote people internally, rather than bringing people out externally,” said Lucrezia.

Keeping a pulse on the needs and processes of the company is no small task.


There’s always more to learn

Lucrezia stressed the importance of creating an open environment where opinions are heard and discussed. That type of confidence takes careful study and genuine interest.

Strategy can apply to team relationships as neatly as it does to that spreadsheet you’ve been meaning to update. They go hand in hand.

Make no mistake; open environments aren’t about making everyone agree on everything. It’s about opening the floor and hearing different opinions, and then, a step further, seeing what can alter into an understanding. From there, it should be a matter of priority alignment and brainstorming. 

Not every idea will make it to the top, but if no one hears them out, they can build up and create a deadly silence, leading to a closed-off environment. 

Having systems and strategies in terms of relationships supports new ideas and the expression of concerns while also recognizing company priorities and initiatives. 


How advance planning reduces friction during implementation

In sales excellence, planning is up there on the top shelf of priorities, right next to long-term strategy and open communication.

A plan puts people at ease. I don’t know about you, but when I hear someone say, “Right, so here’s what we’re going to do…” and lay out actionable steps, it makes my heart rate go down to its regular pace. 

Provide security for your team as often as you can. Organization can mean the difference between success and missed opportunity.


The caveat…

Now, of course, security isn’t always available—anyone who’s spent any time in business knows that—and it’s best practice not to promise outcomes you can’t deliver on. 

The real merit of organized processes lending to security is that when there is change, a shift in the strategy, or a move in leadership, the teams will know about it. 

They’ll have the information they need about the situation via an organized distribution, both positive and negative. That, in turn, reduces the stress of any adjustments.


Lucrezia’s Key Takeaways

  1. Have a strategy: be prepared for different outcomes and keep learning. Curveballs will come. Be as ready as you can be for them.
  2. Create a space of open communication: work to build an organization of trust, where you can have valuable conversations. Even if people don’t see eye to eye, they should talk it through and have confidence their words will have meaning.
  3. Don’t be afraid to try new tools: explore new and better ways to get the job done. Listen to the pain points of your team. What do they need? What are they struggling with? What can you do to ease that tension?

Get in touch with Lucrezia Keane on LinkedIn.

Check out this resource we mentioned:

For more engaging sales conversations, subscribe to The Sales Engagement Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or our website.

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