For the basis of this case survey we will believe Jeremy Wilsons role as VP of Sales for Jive Software were we can look at the central building blocks of the sales function that must assist Jive Software execute their sales strategy. Furthermore we will also look at what steps the new VP of Sales John McCracken needs to take to deal with the sales problems Jive Software were facing because of the growth of the company.
For any business that is going to use a sales strategy there are a few key factors that require to be considered. For instance, who are your aim for customers, do you have any competitors in the forex market space, what geographically parts are you going to concentrate on, and what center blocks of the sales function are required to realize the sales strategy. In Jive's situation we know that their target audience made up of large range organizations and SME's. We also know that Jive's reputation tightly put them to the forefront as the key provider of sociable networking for enterprise which in essence gave them an advantage over their competitors. For the geographically parts, due to the nature of these business there are no limitations as to where Jive could not sell their product collection. This leaves the question, what exactly are core blocks of the sales function they need to set up? After reviewing the situation it was driven that the central blocks were, a centralized Information system, a functional sales pipeline, sales resources, marketing investment and an agreed sales budget.
The initiation of an centralized information system will improve how Jive manage, store and disseminate their information. In utilizing systems such as Deal Handling Systems (TPS), Office Automation Systems (OAS), Decision Support Systems (DSS) and Customer Marriage Management systems (CRM) it allows the integration of the useful areas within the organization. (i. e. Sales and Marketing, Financing, Functions and HR) (Malaga, 2005) The consequence of this integration provides easier access to both inner and external information which aids senior management making decisions that influence the daily going of Jive but also helps in achieving their strategic sales goals.
Following the deployment of the information system Jive need to analyze all sales leads that have been produced and hire a efficient sales pipeline to provide senior management visibility on the sales leads while also permitting them to qualify that leads the sales force should be concentrating their attempts on. This effectively allows Jive to see which companies would get the greatest benefits out of using Jive's public networking business system and rank them appropriately. (Reynolds, 2012)
The number of resources required to control all the sales opportunities in the offing is vital. That's how many bank account managers, sales technical engineers, administration staff, tech support team and field service technicians do Jive need? Furthermore these resources will demand the relevant trained in sales, customer care, the CRM information system as well as the Jive product collection itself. (Reynolds, 2012)
Providing books to the sales team in the form of PDF's, brochures etc. For instance, information on the merchandise specs, retail price of the merchandise, lead time on the delivery of the product, warranty duration, an overview of Jive's talents and capacities, and a typical sales pitch the sales person should deliver to the client. Also providing the customer's with the facility to download a duplicate of the software to evaluate is incredibly useful as it allows Jive's to showcase the product to large audience which in turn will help in the technology of sales leads.
The finally core foundation is Jive's sales budget. It is crucial that Jive control the budget to ensure their sales strategy is effective. Creating a centralized information system is expensive so when you element in the expense of training, marketing, travel, entertainment etc. . the overall budget could be very high. (Ma, 2012)
For this portion of this report can look at the steps the new VP of Sales John McCracken needs to try mitigate the sales problems Jive Software were facing.
In 2008 Chris Morace (VP of Product Marketing) instigated the original changes in how Jive does their prospecting of customers by moving from the shotgun sales approach of retailing to everyone and one to concentrating on the venture sector. However there may still be some problems with the sales reps regarding this plan. John McCracken must address this example and explain that spending a huge part of their time on SME accounts that give little return in the form of earnings is not the way forward. He needs them to target their initiatives on looking at Jive's existing customers and deciding, which ones generate high revenues with high income, what problems do Jive solve for these customers, and most importantly why do these customer do business with Jive Software. (Robertson, 2012) Along the sales reps should avoid retailing legacy/patched up products and focus on advertising the latest Clearspace product.
John needs to move the sales team from the reactive retailing done before. He should take up a pro-active solution reselling approach to concentrate on the customer's specific business need or problem they want to solve. Arguably this might require the merchant to have complete knowledge of customers business and industry. However using this approach means the sales reps will work more tightly with the customers either by email, phone or site appointments which ultimately allows these to forge strong connections with the key decision manufacturers in these businesses whilst also attaining essential market cleverness.
For the near future success of Jive it is important that John has the sales reps feed information accumulated from customer visits back to the Jive's product development team so they can work on the next era of Jive's product collection.
Address the existing problems the quarterly quota system is causing. One solution to this problem is to apply an total annual forecasting system instead. This can end the mid-quarter quota issues that experienced the sales reps under Jeremy Wilson's stewardship. However it is still crucial that John retains monthly meetings with his sales team to ensure they are simply continuously monitoring the situation and the Jive are still on track to meet the forecasted sales set out in the beginning of the fiscal 12 months. There must also be higher transparency when it comes to who's in charge of which accounts, what retailing techniques were used and which sales repetitions are reaching their focus on sales.
Finally John should increase Jive's company account in the cultural network business market space. This could be achieved by exhibiting Jive's product range at industry events, submitting articles on Jive Software in industry trade magazines, speaking at industry conferences, providing a set of Jive's top organization customers on the website as well as getting recommendations from these customers endorsing the Jive product range. (Robertson, 2012)