Revenue Growth: Free Up Your Sales Force for Selling

August 4, 2011

As a Venture Partner at OpenView Partners in Boston we focus on investing growth capital in expansion stage software or internet software companies. As a point person with operational experience, I spend time advising the founders, CEOs and Management Teams on operational execution across all the major areas of the company… Development, Product Management, Customer Service, Finance, Professional Services, Marketing and Sales.

One constant that every portfolio company I work with is looking for is additional revenue growth. This is why I wanted to share an article in the McKinsey Quarterly on freeing up your sales force for selling. It is an article you should read, pass on to your management team and put in a folder to pull out and review each year as you prepare for annual planning.

There is no shorter path to boosting your revenues than reviewing your sales processes and execution to identify impediments that use up precious sales time on activities that do not contribute to top line revenues. In fact, at OpenView Labs we have a team focused on Customer Development that helps portfolio companies do this. This team can also help the companies improve their processes to achieve the benefits identified.

This is not just a large company problem… every company faces this challenge. Whether you have 1 sales rep or 100, this is an exercise every CEO and their management team should do. If you are not looking to improve your processes and give your sales team more time for selling activities to generate revenues you might as well just throw money out the window.

The article discusses Tuning Sales Operations For Growth (that code for top line revenues) by

  • Identifying problems and opportunities
  • Optimizing the entire sales process

Then, after talking about the efforts above they discuss Making It Happen.

You can read about the article here.

When managing sales teams this was an exercise I went through continuously. Every year we were looking to get an additional 10-15% revenue growth out of our reps by improving the processes. There is no faster way to increase top line revenues and bottom line performance than making your sales teams more productive. The results are immediate.

By the way, the best CEOs perform this exercise every quarter as part of their operational reviews.  They are continuously looking for impediments they can remove in their sales processes to increase the momentum of their sales teams and drive the revenue growth of the company.

All the best!


Venture Partner

<strong>George Roberts</strong> is a Venture Partner at OpenView. He enjoys partnering with companies and helping them achieve their goals through strategy, focus and operational execution. From 1990 to 2003, George spent 13 years at Oracle Corporation, most recently having served as Executive Vice President of North American Sales. While at Oracle, George was responsible for over $1 billion in revenue and more than 2,000 employees, reporting directly to the company’s CEO and Chairman, Larry Ellison.