- 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- Many organizations are plagued with outdated or ineffective sales application portfolios, poor sales data, and a support structure that is ambivalent towards the time-sensitive requirements of the sales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.
Research & Tools
1. Review drivers
Assess the benefits and investigate the urgency for Sales-IT alignment.
Develop an IT Strategy to Support Sales Storyboard Sample
Develop an IT Strategy to Support Sales Storyboard
Sales-IT Alignment Strategy Project Charter
Customer Relationship Management Suite Opportunity Assessment Tool for Large Enterprises
2. Assess current and target states
Articulate business objectives and define vision for future state.
Sales Application Portfolio Matrix and Assessment
Sales-IT Solutions Requirements Documentation Template
3. Design solutions
Identify sales solutions and build the roadmap for Sales-IT alignment.
Sales-IT Initiative Scoring, Prioritization, and Roadmap Tool
Onsite Workshop: Develop an IT Strategy to Support Sales
Onsite 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 onsite 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.
The slides in this Best Practice Blueprint will walk you step-by-step through every phase of your project with supporting tools and templates ready for you to use.
Project Accelerator Workshop
You can also use this Best Practice Blueprint to facilitate your own project accelerator workshop within your organization using the workshop slides and facilitation instructions provided in the Appendix.
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.
|1.1 Develop Sales-IT alignment guiding principles from IT and business drivers.
|1.2 Assemble the core Sales-IT alignment strategy team.
|1.3 High-level project scoping.
|1.4 Define future state sales 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.
|2.1 Assess the satisfaction levels of applications from multiple perspectives.
|2.2 Evaluate the current state sales business processes.
|2.3 Develop an inventory of requirements for future state enablement.
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.
|3.1 Translate requirements into Sales-IT initiatives.
|3.2 Score and prioritize Sales-IT initiatives to place on implementation roadmap.
|3.3 Structure the Sales-IT alignment committee.