By Sarah Shamouelian
After transitioning from a sales background to the AR side of things, I’ve found myself well positioned to offer some insights on bettering the sales/AR relationship. This relationship is universally in need of improvement, and often starts with evaluating how resistant a sales team is to change.
Change is generally regarded as a good thing—especially in transformative AR—but that doesn’t make it easy to implement on a team or individual level. Sales teams are often the victims of distractions for anything from pet projects to tight deadlines, but they can serve to insulate or protect a sale from outside forces. This makes change a tricky but a possible endeavor with the right strategies.
If your team is resistant to change, start off small. Think of a pilot program you can put in place. It’s easy to get overwhelmed when you look at where you’re starting compared to where you need to be, so break down your approach into phases. Manage your team’s expectations (as well as your own) and seek to build an understanding and trusting relationship.
AR teams will always be outnumbered by salespeople, so don’t forget to always sell yourself. Focus on what you can change and transform. Once you get the ball rolling the rest tends to follow. When delegating, select people with great management skills. Everyone from executives down needs to fit into the image you’re trying to cultivate.
One last tip is to get quick wins early on to increase legitimacy. The first thing you should do is have your sales team ask clients about their experiences with specific analysts. You can’t argue with client feedback, after all. If you need a reference point, check out the Analyst Value Survey to get started.
Are you ready for change? Pinpoint the growth opportunities for your team by getting your SageScore — a free personal report evaluating and mapping your AR capabilities.
Sarah Shamouelian joined SageCircle in January 2021 from the Analyst Observatory, where she led the Analyst Advocacy Study. She has developed significant partnerships with clients, investors and resellers at Informa, Oxford Economics and Bombora. Sarah has worked on transforming numerous start-ups and mature businesses, providing services in information technology, media, data, sales and marketing.
She has an MBA with Merit from the Alliance Business School at the University of Manchester.