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SPM and The Revenue Roadmap

All sales organizations are unique; but there are a few principles that apply no matter what you’re selling and who’s selling it. The Revenue Roadmap, below, identifies four major layers and 16 related disciplines that must connect for the organization to grow profitably.

The first layer, insight, pertains to understanding the market and competitors and how the business is performing. Insight is the highest level competency: understanding the voice of the customer, the macro market, competitor moves, and the performance of the business. That insight will drive certain decisions to the next downstream level, which is sales strategy.

The second layer, sales strategy, defines the sales organization’s action plan to achieve its goal. The sales strategy will drive decisions concerning product and service focus, concentration on certain markets, value propositions, and the resulting approach to market.

Customer coverage, the third layer, defines how the organization will use its channels, roles, processes, and resources to go to market. Sales channels outline the overall routes to market, whether they’re third party companies such as resellers, referral partners, retailers, or whether they’re part of the company sales force which could include a range of sales jobs. Sales leaders need to base the selection of their sales channel mix on factors like how the customer prefers to buy, how channel partners might improve the overall product offer, their ability to reach customers in different markets, and the financial efficiency of using lower cost channels to reach certain customers or conduct certain types of sales or service transactions.

Enablement, the final layer of the Revenue Roadmap, supports all of the upstream disciplines within customer coverage, sales strategy, and insight. Enablement includes areas such as incentive compensation and quotas, which aligns sellers to the sales strategy. It includes recruiting and retention, which define the current inventory of talent and determine how the organization is going to attract and retain the right talent for the long term.  Training and development builds the capabilities of the organization for people currently in their jobs and in junior roles that will progress into key sales roles. Tools and technology provide leverage by enhancing the effectiveness of gaining insight and implementing the organization’s decisions around sales strategy, customer coverage, and enablement.

I’m heading to the IBM World of Watson 2016 conference later this month to be a part of their Sales Performance Management discussions. IBM has combined their sales performance management solutions and built in the cognitive capabilities of Watson Analytics. They’ve taken the four layers of the Revenue Roadmap and used the power of data to weave the layers together. They’re leading us into a new era of cognitive business, and it’s changing the way we look at insight, strategy, coverage and enablement for sales.

If you’re planning to be at the conference, I’d love to connect. Stop by the IBM Incentive Compensation Management booth. I can also be found in the IBM mobile app. Or as always, you can reach me at

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