- IT must stand ready to support and collaborate with Sales. Armed with a robust technology enablement strategy, IT must provide Sales with the applications, data, and supporting human resources to efficiently and effectively carry out their operations.
- Many organizations are plagued with outdated or ineffective sales application portfolios, poor sales data, and a support structure that is ambivalent towards the time-sensitive requirements of the sales organization.
- IT must work hand-in-hand with Sales to build a robust strategy for Sales-IT alignment. This involves building a permanent alignment steering committee that can set shared, strategic direction on how best to enable salespersons.
- IT and Sales should build a program for shared technology governance.
- IT should build a portfolio of applications that supports all sales processes, using best-of-breed point solutions where necessary.
- A proactive and corrective program for sales data quality must be implemented and managed by IT.
- IT should seek innovative, “art of the possible” sales solutions.
Impact and Result
- IT should develop a robust set of applications that address end-to-end sales requirements. This portfolio can be centered on the CRM platform, but will often also include robust point solutions like lead management automation, sales collateral management tools, and social media management platforms.
- IT should assist the business in auditing sales data and putting in place both preventative measures (i.e. data stewards) and corrective measures (i.e. automated scrubbing tools) to ensure customer and sales data is current, valid, and free of duplicate information.
- IT should always keep the “art of the possible” on its radar: Internet of Things and Social are two examples.
After each Info-Tech experience, we ask our members to quantify the real-time savings, monetary impact, and project improvements our research helped them achieve. See our top member experiences for this blueprint and what our clients have to say.
Workshop: Develop an IT Strategy to Support Sales
Workshops offer an easy way to accelerate your project. If you are unable to do the project yourself, and a Guided Implementation isn't enough, we offer low-cost delivery of our project workshops. We take you through every phase of your project and ensure that you have a roadmap in place to complete your project successfully.
Module 1: The Benefits of Sales-IT Alignment
- Review of the importance and benefits of Sales-IT alignment efforts.
- Identify IT and business drivers and objectives.
- Define the future state sales business processes to support Sales-IT alignment.
Key Benefits Achieved
- Root causes of Sales-IT misalignment identified.
- IT and business drivers for Sales-IT alignment identified.
- Risks mitigation plan for Sales-IT alignment developed.
Develop Sales-IT alignment guiding principles from IT and business drivers.
- Sales-IT alignment project guiding principles.
Assemble the core Sales-IT alignment strategy team.
- Sales-IT alignment strategy team and related RACI chart.
High-level project scoping.
- Initial project charter for executive approval.
Define future state sales business processes.
- Future state business processes.
Module 2: Define the Target State, Review the Current State, and Identify Gaps
- Gain a systematic view of the current sales application portfolio.
- Understand the current degree of integration between sales applications and related IT environment.
- Understand the status of customer and sales-related data.
Key Benefits Achieved
- Functionality and integration capabilities of current sales applications evaluated in supporting current and future sales business processes.
- Posture towards key IT applications and systems architecture decisions developed.
- Root causes of data quality issues identified.
Assess the satisfaction levels of applications from multiple perspectives.
- Investment disposition for each sales application.
Evaluate the current state sales business processes.
- Inventory of gaps driven from comparison of future and current state sales business processes.
Develop an inventory of requirements for future state enablement.
- Inventory of requirements for Sales-IT solutioning.
Module 3: Build Solutions for Sales
- Learn about various sales-related applications and their best-fit use cases.
- Organize requirements into logical groupings.
- Identify opportunities to establish/improve on governance of Sales-IT alignment.
Key Benefits Achieved
- Knowledge gained with regards to which sales applications are required to support future state sales business processes.
- Potential governance structure to create ongoing synergies and collaboration between Sales and IT.
Translate requirements into Sales-IT initiatives.
- Sales-IT initiatives.
Score and prioritize Sales-IT initiatives to place on implementation roadmap.
- Sales-IT initiative implementation roadmap.
Structure the Sales-IT alignment committee.
- Preliminary Sales-IT alignment committee.