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It goes without saying that sales teams are the pivot of your business!

They are out there in the trenches bringing customers in and closing deals for you. To state the obvious, an effective sales team can help drive revenue growth by generating leads, nurturing prospects, and converting them into paying customers. They can also upsell and cross-sell to existing customers. 

The composition of a sales team may vary depending on the organization's size and type. For instance, a small business might have only a few sales reps, while a large corporation might have a much larger sales team with specialized roles such as sales executives and sales specialists. 

Sales teams may come in all shapes and sizes, but their overall objective remains the same: generating revenue and driving business growth.

In this article, we’ve compiled a list of some of the most common sales team roles and responsibilities.

Table of Contents: 

  1. Introduction
  2. Sales Manager
  3. Inbound Sales Representative
  4. Outbound Sales Representative 
  5. Sales Operations
  6. Final Thoughts


Imagine a large company with multiple reps across many sales teams. Now imagine a small business with just one or two individuals who handle all sales-related activities. Chances are that these individuals are the founders or owners of the business who have a deep understanding of the products or services they are selling! It is quite easy for anyone to point out the glaring differences between the two. 

However, you may ask: what are the similarities?

Well, the fact of the matter is that selling has changed significantly over the years! For both large and small businesses. What this means is that this dynamic sales ecosystem has brought everyone on a level playing ground, wherein both have had to redefine sales ‘best-practices’. 

The lone-wolf salesman swooping in to heroically close an impossible deal? We would be lying if we say we don’t particularly love this trope. However, the idea of a single rep handling a sale- even a simple sale- is long gone. With more and more stakeholders getting involved in a single sale, selling is now a team effort. 

More often than not, defining sales roles is extremely simple in the beginning. But, companies grow! More people are hired. Some of them will be hired for the same role. Before you know it, you are staring at this large daunting pyramid of hierarchies: regional sales managers, sales managers, channel managers, SDRs and so on. 

This is just the beginning. Adding new reps to keep up with growth also means restructuring your sales model everytime a rep joins the team.

Needless to say, clearly defining sales roles and responsibilities takes on new urgency in this ever-changing business ecosystem. 

Let us help you tap into the latest insights about some of the most common sales team roles and responsibilities. 

Sales Manager:

Essentially, the role of a sales manager is to oversee and manage a team of sales representatives to achieve specific sales targets and goals. 

Some of the primary responsibilities include:

  1. Setting sales targets for the team based on the company's overall goals and objectives
  1. Developing sales strategies that will help achieve sales targets
  1. Monitoring sales performance to identify areas where the team can improve and areas where they are excelling
  1. Coaching and training team members to improve their sales skills and performance
  1. Motivating the team to achieve their targets by recognizing and rewarding their achievements
  1. Analyzing market trends and changes in the industry to adjust their sales strategies accordingly
  1. Reporting to senior management and provide recommendations for improving sales processes and strategies

Inbound Sales Representative:

Inbound sales are critical to the sales process. Their main responsibility is to convert inbound leads into customers by effectively communicating the value of the company's products or services and addressing any concerns or questions that the lead may have.

Some key tasks and responsibilities of inbound sales reps include:

  1. Qualifying leads: 
  • This includes assessing whether an inbound lead is a good fit for the company's products or services
  • Asking the right questions to understand the lead's needs and determine whether the company's offerings can meet those needs
  1. Building relationships: 
  • Inbound sales reps are expected to build a rapport with leads to establish trust and credibility
  • This involves actively listening to the lead's concerns and providing personalized solutions
  1. Educating leads: 
  • It is imperative for inbound sales reps be knowledgeable about the company's products or services and able to clearly articulate their benefits
  • They also need to educate leads on how the company's offerings can solve their problems and address their pain points
  1. Closing deals: 
  • Ultimately, the goal of inbound sales reps is to close deals with qualified leads 
  • This involves understanding the lead's buying process, negotiating terms, and making sure that the customer follows through. 

Outbound Sales Representative:

The role of an outbound sales representative typically involves actively reaching out to potential customers to generate interest in a product or service and ultimately close a sale. 

Some specific responsibilities may include:

  1. Identifying potential customers or markets that may be interested in the product or service being offered
  1. Contacting potential customers via phone, email, or other communication channels to introduce them to the product or service 
  1. Identifying and addressing any objections or concerns the potential customer may have about the product
  1. Working with the customer to understand their needs and how the product or service can meet those needs
  1. Negotiating terms and closing sales
  1. Building and maintaining relationships with customers 

Sales Operations:

Sales operations play a critical role in driving the success of a sales organization by supporting and optimizing the sales process. 

Some of the specific roles and responsibilities of sales operations include:

  1. Sales ops professionals work to identify and remove any bottlenecks in the sales process. This includes streamlining sales workflows, and automating sales processes
  1. Data management and analysis: Sales operations teams are responsible for collecting, analyzing, and presenting data on sales performance. This data can be used to identify trends and insights that can be used to improve the sales process and make more informed business decisions
  1. For some companies, sales operations professionals may also be responsible for developing and implementing sales training programs to help sales reps improve their skills and performance
  1. Sales ops are often responsible for managing CRM systems, sales automation tools, and other sales-related software
  1. They are tasked with using historical data and trends to forecast future sales performance, helping the organization to plan and allocate resources accordingly

To Conclude:

Building a good sales team is essential for the success of any business. A well-functioning sales team helps to generate revenue, build customer relationships, identify new opportunities, and provide valuable feedback. 

Moreover, the sales team is in constant communication with customers which means that they can provide valuable feedback on the company's products or services. This feedback can then be used to improve the quality of the products or services, and to develop new products that better meet the needs of customers.

As you build your sales team, it is important to remember that clearly defining job responsibilities is as important as recruiting good people.By having clearly defined roles, everyone on the team knows what is expected of them, and larger company goals can be achieved. 

Sales Team Structure: Four Most Common Roles and Responsibilities
minutes read



You close a deal, you get compensated. Now what if this compensation is taken back? Sounds awful, right? 

Even so, clawback provisions have become a common feature in compensation packages over the years. But, what exactly is a clawback? 

More often than not, clawback provisions are written into compensation packages. The aim is to deter employees from boosting their compensation at the expense of the company. But in case executives cash in their compensation and then leave, clawbacks can be impossible to enforce. 

Worried about your hard-earned compensation being taken back? Don’t worry! Read this article to know more about clawbacks and how/when they are enforced. 

Table of Contents: 

  1. Introduction
  2. Types of Clawbacks
  3. The Last Resort: Why do companies use clawbacks?
  4. Clawbacks- Benefits 
  5. Clawbacks- Limitations
  6. Clawbacks in the real world
  7. Final Thoughts


Although the idea of the executive pay ‘clawback’ has been in vogue since the early 2000s, it is only recently that it has become an increasingly common provision in executive compensation packages.

To put it simply, a clawback is a contractual provision that allows an employer or benefactor to recover money that has already been paid out to an employee. 

This is mostly enforced if the employee fails to meet certain conditions or if the payment was made in error. Clawback provisions may also be used in executive compensation agreements to incentivize good performance and discourage unethical behavior. 

They may also be used in situations where an individual receives a benefit or payment that they are not entitled to, such as in cases of fraud or misrepresentation. In such cases, the clawback provision may also include a penalty or interest on the amount owed.

While clawbacks are most prevalent in the finance industry, life-sciences companies may also use them time and again for:

  • Executive bonuses: A clawback may be initiated in response to poor performance or undesirable behavior
  • Pensions: A pensioner may be asked to return an erroneously paid pension
  • Contracts: Many a times, contracts contain a clause that can trigger clawbacks if the products or services offered don’t meet the terms of the contract
  • Dividends: Shareholder dividends might be clawed back if the company cannot support the payments

In theory, clawback policies allow companies to recover compensation already paid to employees if their decisions and actions turn out to be legally and ethically questionable. However, in practice this is not always the case. 

Types of Clawbacks:

Clawbacks can take many forms, but they generally fall into two categories: performance-based clawbacks and misconduct-based clawbacks. 

Performance-based clawbacks are tied to financial or operational metrics, such as earnings per share or customer satisfaction scores. 

If an executive or employee is found to have engaged in behavior that caused the company to miss these targets, the company can claw back a portion of their compensation.

Misconduct-based clawbacks, on the other hand, are triggered by specific acts of wrongdoing, such as fraud, insider trading, or other violations of company policies. 

If an executive or employee is found to have engaged in such behavior, the company can recover any compensation paid to them during the period in which the misconduct occurred.

The Last Resort: Why do companies use clawbacks?

It is important to understand that companies use clawbacks as the last resort, when there is absolutely no other way to go. Therefore, clawbacks are used sparingly in cases where companies have suffered reputational damages or legal damages. Some of the most common reasons are: 

Protection against liabilities:

Clawbacks are the safety net for any company. They are a way to mitigate any risks that come with potential fraud, misconduct or erroneous payments. In case a company faces any of these risks, clawback provisions allow them to recover the money lost. In industries like the Finance Industry, clawbacks can stop employees from using confidential information. Clawbacks may be used for:

  • Misconduct: Clawbacks may be used to recover compensation or bonuses paid to employees who engaged in misconduct or violated company policies. This can include cases of fraud, insider trading, or other illegal or unethical behavior.
  • Restitution: Clawbacks may be used to recover funds that were obtained through illegal or fraudulent means, such as embezzlement or money laundering. This can be part of a restitution process in which the funds are returned to their rightful owners or victims.
  • Overpayment: Clawbacks may be used to recover funds that were mistakenly overpaid, such as in the case of an accounting error or accidental overpayment of benefits.
  • Recoupment of incentives: Clawbacks may be used to recoup incentives paid to employees or contractors in cases where the goals or benchmarks that the incentives were based on were not actually met.

Respond to unforeseen financial circumstances:

This is no secret- businesses involve a lot of risks! Imagine a company facing an unexpected drop in profits. In this case, the company might want to reclaim funds from shareholders. Clawback provisions enable the company to take such steps. 

Provide assurance to investors:

Clawbacks are also put in place in order to provide assurance to investors. Clawback provisions provide increased credibility to companies and in turn make the investors feel more comfortable with putting their money in. 

Benefits of Clawbacks:

One of the key benefits of clawbacks is that they provide a powerful incentive for executives and employees to act in the best interests of the company and its shareholders. 

By tying compensation to performance metrics or conduct, companies can encourage their employees to focus on achieving long-term goals and to avoid actions that could harm the company's reputation or financial health.

In addition to their motivational benefits, clawbacks can also help Incentive Compensation Management leaders mitigate some of the risks associated with executive compensation. For example, when executives receive large bonuses or stock awards, they may be incentivized to take on excessive risk in order to maximize their potential payout. 

By including a clawback provision, companies can reduce the likelihood that executives will engage in risky behavior, knowing that they may be required to repay some or all of their compensation if things go wrong.

Limitations of Clawbacks:

Despite these benefits, clawbacks are not without controversy. One of the main criticisms of clawbacks is that they are difficult to enforce, particularly in cases where the employee in question has already left the company. 

In such cases, the company may have to rely on legal action to recover the compensation, which can be time-consuming and expensive.

Another concern is that clawbacks may discourage talented executives from joining or staying with a company. If executives feel that their compensation is too closely tied to performance or conduct, they may be reluctant to take on leadership roles, particularly in industries that are subject to greater regulatory scrutiny.

Clawbacks in the real world:

Despite these challenges, many companies have implemented clawback provisions in recent years, in response to increasing regulatory pressure and shareholder demands for greater accountability. However, applying the provision is a challenge of its own. 

Take for example Goldman Sachs announcing that it would use clawbacks to recover $174 million from current and former executives following the Board’s approval of a $2.9 billion settlement of claims in respect of its role in the Malasian IMDB scandal in 2012-13. 

Goldman has been successful in recovering some of this money through deductions from the 2020 compensation of executives who are still serving. But others had already cashed in their rewards and left the firm, including former Goldman president Gary Cohn. 

Truth be told- there’s little Goldman Sachs can do about this!

Final Thoughts:

While clawbacks are not a panacea for all executive compensation issues, they can be a powerful tool for aligning the interests of executives and shareholders, making sales performance management easier, and for promoting long-term value creation. 

As companies continue to grapple with the complex challenges of executive compensation, clawbacks are likely to remain an important part of the solution.

Ka-chi… : What is a Clawback?
minutes read


If no one will say it, I will. Because, when it comes to sales pipelines vs sales funnels, we’re all thinking the same thing!

Who decided to name these important sales processes after plumbing items? 

Anyways, once you make your peace with the fact that these names are here to stay, the second question you’re probably asking is: Aren’t they the same? 

Because let’s admit it- we’ve all done this! Looked at a term and pretended that we know what it is, but googled it up just in case? That’s what sales pipelines and funnels are like for most sales folks! They’re there and they’re important, but corporate jargon has left you confused about what these actually mean and why you should know more about them. 

Don’t worry, we got you! We jotted down everything you need to know about sales pipelines vs sales funnels in this article. 

Table of Contents: 

  1. Introduction
  2. The Sales Pipeline
  3. The Sales Funnel 
  4. Sales Pipelines vs Sales Funnels: The difference is in the data! 
  5. Final Thoughts


For many sales folks, these might seem like nerdy marketing definitions, more suited to lecture halls rather than the real world of sales. But, in reality, knowing the key differences between these two terms can be the first step towards optimizing your sales process! 

So, if you are a salesperson who’s wondering why you can’t seem to close a deal or how many leads do you need to make a sale, keep reading. 

If you are involved in B2B sales, your team probably has a sales process in place. A sales process is essentially a series of recurring steps that your reps take to make a sale. How are the leads distributed amongst reps? When and how does the first outreach happen with a prospect? What preparation needs to happen before a demo? All of those decisions, tasks and to-dos from first contact to closing make up your sales process. A bible that your reps swear by, so to say. 

To put it simply, a sales pipeline reflects the major milestones in a sales process while a sales funnel represents conversion rates through the sales process. 

If that’s a little confusing, don’t beat yourself! These two terms have been used interchangeably so often that it can be difficult to wrap your head around the differences. 

The Sales Pipeline:

We’ve already established that a sales pipeline reflects the major milestones in a sales process. What this means is that the actions in a sales process are divided into pipeline stages. 

Each of these stages represents a major milestone that has to be reached before a lead can move forward. Once the goal of each pipeline stage is reached, the prospect is advanced to the next stage. 

A sales pipeline can therefore be defined as a series of stages that a prospect moves through as they progress from being a new lead to finally becoming a customer. 

The confusion sets in when a lot of sales people use the term “pipeline” to state the quantity or value of the deals currently in their pipeline, instead of referring to the stages. So it’s quite common to hear reps complain that their pipeline looks rough because they couldn't do enough prospecting that week. 

Organizations are diverse and so are sales pipelines. However, some of the more common pipeline stages are:

The Sales Pipeline

Lead Generation:

This step will require the sales teams and the marketing teams working in tandem to generate leads. Most businesses already know the type of customers they are looking for and how they plan to get their leads. The most common method is using both inbound and outbound marketing. The sales teams will stick to their rituals: cold calling and social media prospecting on platforms like LinkedIn. On the other hand, marketing teams could use a range of methods: Pay-per-view advertising, email campaigns, word of mouth marketing and so on. 

Qualifying leads:

This step is quite crucial for reps as they get to decide whether or not a prospect they came across during lead generation is a good fit for their product or service. Qualifying leads makes the sales process more efficient by prioritizing quality over quantity. At this stage, chances are that the rep has already talked to the prospect over a call, or through messages on social media or even in person. The rep therefore has a fair idea if the prospect has the budget necessary for a purchase and if the solution is what the prospect is looking for. 


If the sales rep sees real potential in a prospect, they will then proceed to engage with the prospect in a more hands-on, detail oriented manner. The rep will most likely work to score a demo or a meeting with the prospect to discuss the solution in detail. If the prospect feels that the solution is the right fit for them, they may give the rep a green flag to proceed further. 


After a successful demo, the rep will send a detailed proposal to the prospect outlining the cost, the length of contract and any other terms of agreement. 


The prospect may engage in final negotiations and sign the contract. At this stage, the prospect is now officially your customer. 

The Sales Funnel:

Let’s talk about funnels now!

While a sales pipeline reflects the major milestones in a sales process, a sales funnel represents conversion rates through that sales process. The steps in a sales funnel are therefore very similar to those in the sales pipeline, hence the confusion. 

To state it clearly, a sales funnel represents the quantity and conversion rates of prospects throughout your sales process. 

So, if you got a 100 leads last quarter, what percentage of them moved from the awareness step of the funnel to the interest stage, and eventually how many ended up becoming your customers. 

It’s called a funnel because of its shape: wide at the top as prospects enter and narrow at the bottom as prospects drop out. 

Like sales pipelines, funnels too are unique depending on company needs. Best practices suggest that your funnel should have the following stages:

The Sales Funnel


This stage involves the lead becoming aware of your product, service or company. This can be the result of your sales and marketing efforts, or the buyer’s own research. During this stage, you can expect the buyer to:

  • Research about your product or service
  • Read online reviews 
  • Look at what your competitors are offering
  • Ask others for recommendations

Due to your sales reps’ lead generation and qualification efforts, some of the prospective buyers will move to the next step of the sales funnel. 


At this stage, the customer has a fair idea of what your offerings are, so they may be seriously looking at competitors’ offerings to get a fair idea of all the options available to them. A potential buyer is most likely to ask you for a demo or a meeting and may expect you to elaborate on:

  • Cost
  • Features
  • Benefits 
  • Testimonials

Based on this demo or meeting, the customer will then proceed to analyse whether your solution is the right choice.


If you’ve reached this stage in your funnel, it means that the buyer decided to go ahead after the demo or the meeting. Reason to celebrate? Yes, and no. While you’ve moved ahead in the tunnel, the buyer is yet to go through your contact and make sure this is the best option for them. 

Prospects are likely to dig deeper into pricing, make sure that your proposal has everything they need and it's within budget.


Like the closing stage in the sales pipeline, the prospect may engage in final negotiations and sign the contract. At this stage of the funnel, the prospect is now officially your customer. 

Sales Pipelines vs Sales Funnels: The difference is in the data!

Once you crunch the numbers in a sales pipeline and a sales funnel, what you can do with each report looks very different. 

Analyzing your pipeline data can help you get a better understanding of timescales. You may get answers to questions like: How long do leads take to convert? Pipeline data may also allow you to point out bottlenecks in your sales process. You may find out that some steps in your pipeline are unnecessary and could be removed to improve the lead flow in the pipeline. 

On the other hand, sales funnels will give you valuable information about the ROI of marketing. Because you can see how many leads are needed to generate a sale, you are in a better position to set company goals and plan growth. Sales funnels will also give you a clear picture of how many relevant leads you’re getting out of various channels, and this may help you identify those channels where conversion rates are significantly lower. 

Final Thoughts:

No matter what industry you’re from- Finance, Life-sciences, Manufacturing- the top priority for a sales leader is to find qualified sales leads and closing deals. Sales Pipelines and Funnels are both effective tools that can be used for course correction when sales figures fail to hit the margin or simply when the organization wants to see a rise in sales figures. 

However, while emphasis has been placed on finding leads and closing deals, the sales process is a lot more than that. Managing and optimizing your sales pipeline is more crucial than ever! With more competition than ever before, it is important that sales managers and reps remain proactive. Therefore, a well defined sales funnel is the only way to consistently generate reliable streams of new prospects.

Sales Pipeline vs Sales Funnel: Spot the Difference
minutes read

Measuring sales productivity has always been an important activity for sales managers! Now that businesses are more data-driven, it is even more crucial for every sales team to have effective productivity tracking practices.

It can be helpful to think of measuring sales productivity as a part of the overall sales enablement process, in which a team is provided the tools and information needed to drive efficiency and total sales. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be hard to implement measures that show where your reps are wasting time, and where they should put more energy to get the most out of every minute they spend selling.

Let’s dive into three ways to measure sales productivity that are backed by sales experts — individuals with years of sales experience including sales authors, strategists, CEOs, coaches, and founders.

  1. Measure the number and quality of customer interactions- 

While many reps may go through the motions of talking with lots of prospects (for example, high dials), are your reps having enough meaningful conversations that will lead to a sale?

According to Wendy Weiss, president of, “The metrics that are important to measure for telephone prospecting are: Dials, Conversations (with a qualified prospect) and Appointments. Many sales professionals will track their number of Appointments, some will track their Dials and Appointments, but very few track the number of Conversations they’re having with qualified prospects. Without that middle number, it’s impossible to know how you’re doing.”

A sales leader needs to monitor the quality of each potential customer conversation. Numbers are meaningless if you’re not building relationships and driving sales.

Track calls, emails, and meeting metrics in your CRM. Sell generates reports based on these activities. For example, you can see the number of calls, call duration, call length vs. time of days, as well as call outcomes — important to know if calls are high quality and effective. If you’re a sales manager, you can sort this info by sales rep. Some reps might have better call outcomes than others. Pair these reps with the ones who need help with their sales effectiveness.

  1. Pay attention to sales pipeline progress-

If your reps only have a general idea of pipeline opportunities, that’s not a good productivity sign. The number of opportunities should be carefully monitored as each stage indicates what revenue you’ll have at the end of the quarter. Tracking the progress of sales stages also highlights what skills reps need to improve.

As Lori Richardson, founder and CEO of Score More Sales, explains, “A productivity metric every salesperson should be paying attention to is number of opportunities prospected to qualified to closure. That’s really three metrics, but I want to see what a rep started with (to know if they have enough of the right activity while prospecting), what they move through as “qualified” in the pipeline (so I know if they are spending time in the right places), and then of those qualified, how many came to closure – so that I can tell if they are working the right opportunities or if there are other issues, such as lack of urgency or poor messaging.”

Review the number of opportunities at each stage of the sales pipeline to check for any bottlenecks and to make improvements, if needed. Ensure that reps are generating enough leads to move through the pipeline. Also, check if these leads match with buyer personas. For example, if certain reps have a large number of prospects, but are failing to move them to the Qualified stage, you might need to revisit your customer qualification requirements. Deal loss reason, average lead response time, closing ratio, and customer acquisition cost are sales pipeline metrics to keep a close eye on.

  1. Prioritize your selling tasks-

Jumping from one sales activity to the next can be deceiving — it might look productive, but in reality, your reps could just be spinning their wheels without actually moving high-quality prospects forward. Prioritization can help with this problem.

“When it comes to my own productivity, I focus on results,” says Jim Keenan, founder, A Sales Guy Consulting, “To ensure I’m being productive, I prioritize my tasks and initiatives to make sure I know what is most important and only work on those things.”

Use your CRM to organize sales activities, conversations, and calendar. For example, with a sales productivity tool like Sell, you can input tasks and sort by different filters such as due date to know which tasks to focus on.

Wondering how to increase sales productivity and keep your reps motivated? Communicate to your reps what they need to do and how they can earn more by automating your ICM. Updating spreadsheets is a manual process and most companies prefer to do this only once a month. Chances are, that more often than not, your reps don’t even know how much they are going to get paid until the end of the month when they receive their compensation. If these spreadsheets are error-prone, it becomes increasingly harder for your reps to trust the organization’s data and they are likely to resort to shadow accounting

By releasing sales data from the silos of spreadsheets, an automated incentive compensation solution can act as a trusted advisor for your sales reps. A report conducted by Forrester published in Forbes reveals that a staggering 90% of growth leaders believe that real-time insights are important. With real-time commission trackers, each rep can get a personalized dashboard with real-time updates as they move closer to their quota and specific goals. Allowing your sales team to automate their performance and plan their earnings and milestones for themselves will significantly increase their visibility and restore trust in the organization!

Kennect’s fully automated ICM solution leverages a data-driven approach to build, run and automate your incentive compensation plans to create transparency and achieve operational efficiency. Kennect helps you break the silos of your comp system by seamlessly integrating across CRM, ERP and HRIS. 

To know more about how Incentive Compensation automation can help you motivate your reps, book a demo with us!

Are You Measuring Sales Productivity Correctly?
minutes read

Organizations can use a Go-to-market strategy for a range of events, including launching new products or services, introducing a current product to a new market and even relaunching the company or brand. The GTM strategy will help a business clarify why it's launching the product, understand who the product is for, and create a plan to engage with the customer and finally convince them to buy the product or service.

When effectively executed, the GTM strategy will align all stakeholders and establish a timeline to ensure each stakeholder meets the defined milestones and outcomes, creating an attainable path to market success.

Overall, go-to-market strategies bring a lot of value to any organization by-

  • Clearly defining a plan and direction for all stakeholders
  • Marketing products and services efficiently
  • Successfully launching products and services
  • Preventing failed product or service launches
  • Promptly reacting to changes and customer desires
  • Defining management of challenges and bottlenecks
  • Creating an effective customer experience
  • Guaranteeing compliance

While go-to-market strategies are often associated with product launches, they can also be used to describe the specific steps a company needs to take in order to guide customer interactions for established products.

To create an effective GTM strategy, organizations must have an understanding of the target market. New and existing workflows should be clearly defined and a system should be established to properly manage the GTM strategy.

A go-to-market strategy often includes five core components:

  1. Market definition: Which markets will be targeted to sell the product or service?
  2. Customers: Who is the target audience within these markets?
  3. Distribution model: How will the product or service be delivered to the customer?
  4. Product messaging and positioning: What is being sold and what is its unique value or primary difference when compared to other products or services in the market?
  5. Price: How much should the product or service cost for each customer group?

Ideally, a GTM strategy should include-

  1. Identifying the target audience- 

The first step to writing a GTM strategy is identifying buyer personas. This process includes identifying the target markets as well as the customer base and building an understanding of how to reach target clients and use the gathered information to achieve long-term goals.

  1. Streamlining the marketing strategy-

When defining the marketing strategy, organizations determine their product or service's place within the market and set a plan to raise product awareness within the target market. This step may include testing different advertising methods for the target audience across various marketing platforms. 

  1. Understanding the buyer's perspective- 

After defining the marketing strategy, organizations must gain an understanding of the buyer's journey. The buyer's journey is the process each buyer goes through that ultimately leads to them purchasing the product or service. The buyer's journey consists of the awareness stage, consideration stage and decision stage. Companies should identify the potential journeys taken through the buying process from both the organization's and customer's perspectives.

  1. Defining the sales strategy-

This step consists of creating a plan that will introduce the product or service to the market. Some elements to include in the sales process include-

  • Training the sales team so they have enough knowledge to confidently sell the product or service
  • Redying tools and resources needed by the sales team to identify, engage with and sell to customers as well as manage these relationships and demonstrate the product or service
  • Identifying the best approach for finding customers
  1. Prepping the support team-

Next, organizations must align their sales and support teams to determine how assistance will be provided to customers with questions or issues. 

  1. Priortizing products-

This step involves determining the priority that the specific product or service takes over others within the company. This also includes identifying whether the product needs continued attention once released to the market or if the teams will move on to a new project. 

Identifying how the product fits into the overall roadmap involves understanding the priority for the development team, addressing how market feedback will be handled, and identifying how stakeholders will stay notified of project progression.

  1. Defining what success looks like-

In this step, an organization must identify the primary purpose of the product or service and define how its success will be measured. The metrics used to measure success should be meaningful, measurable, motivational and easy to track.

  1. Identifying resources needed after the launch-

Once all the previous steps have been completed, the company must identify any ongoing budget and resource needs that will continue after the product or service has entered the market. This includes time and money spent on maintenance of the product or service as well as any other factors that will impact the day to day lives of stakeholders.

When you’ve created something new and exciting, it’s natural to want to show it off to people, but rushing it isn’t the way to go. You need to find the ideal product-market fit.

Take the necessary time to find your target market, understand your customers, craft your message and sell your product in the right way.

A go-to-market strategy might not be the most glamorous part of launching a new product or service, but it’s probably the most important! 

The Path to a More Connected Go-To-Market Strategy
minutes read

Comp plans are a strategic investment- therefore, maximizing ROI on compensation is imperative for any business. Comp plans are also incredibly complicated. Defining incentives is a collaborative process involving multiple departments like HR, Sales, and Finance. There is also the added pressure to make your ICM automated and data-centered. 

With automation taking hold, there is no doubt among sales leaders that technology-led approaches to sales comp are the way to go. 

While it is established that automation is the only way to go, organizations have two options to maintain their competitive advantage-

  1. Invest in a purpose-build ICM system 
  2. Build a custom in-house ICM solution

Most companies need help to make this choice

If you’re a leader, you may want to opt for a custom in-house solution. This is understandable. In-house solutions give the organization more control over the key. 

While this may seem lucrative, you may want to reconsider if SPM is not your company’s core expertise.

Many companies may feel that their employees are equipped with the knowledge to spearhead an in-house solution, and therefore fail to properly consider the costs and challenges associated with building a custom solution. 

Thinking of building your own custom ICM solution? Here are some factors to consider before going down that road- 

Organizational goals/priorities

Jot down your company’s high-level objectives. Is developing and selling an IC or an SPM solution from the ground up one of these priorities? 

If you are a retail company or you’re in life sciences, chances are that this is not one of your top priorities. In that case, it makes more sense to invest in a ready-to-use solution from a trusted vendor.

Resource availability 

Let’s face it- resources are limited! So, it is no wonder that as a growth leader, you have to think twice before allotting this very limited pool of resources. Before you go ahead and route resources to developing an in-house ICM solution, ask yourself if there are other priority areas where more revenue can be generated with the help of these resources? 

If you identify such priority areas, it makes more sense to allocate revenue there instead of building a custom solution. 

Maintenance and support 

Contrary to what you may think, building your own solution is not a one-time cost. With time, your internal solution will demand a lion’s share into your resources for maintenance. 

Therefore, while you may feel that the one-time cost of a custom solution is less, the Total Cost of Ownership is much higher. 

Quality Compromise

Most companies will not have the required expertise to build their own ICM platform. While you may feel that your existing employees have the skills to get the task done, you risk building an inferior product that simply does not hit the mark. 

Moreover, cumbersome in-house systems mean that only a few individuals who were involved in the building process understand them. If they happen to leave the company, the whole solution collapses. 


Is your homegrown system built in a way that it is capable of reflecting growth? Most homegrown IC systems- especially those built by business/financial analysts rely heavily on spreadsheets. While spreadsheets may seem convenient at first, the truth is that constant changes in your incentive compensation plan will most likely break this traditional system. 

Spreadsheet-based systems usually hit a wall when growth demands scalability. This could happen when -

  • There is an increase in the amount of data flow when the company is rethinking strategy or simply analyzing trends
  • The sales force is growing which means there are more reps to manag

For most systems, this is only sustainable in the short run.

Our advice? Partner with the right vendor to maintain your competitive edge!

Kennect’s fully automated ICM solution leverages a data-driven approach to build, run and automate your incentive compensation plans to create transparency and achieve operational efficiency. Kennect helps you break the silos of your comp system by seamlessly integrating across CRM, ERP and HRIS and is designed to work with new models. 

Book a demo with us today to learn more about how we can help you with automating your sales comp!

Incentive Compensation | Sales Commission
To Build or Not To Build: In-House ICM Solutions
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