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2012 Sales Pulse Survey

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We asked over 100 sales leaders about their plans for growth in 2012. Here are the results.

We asked over 100 sales leaders about their plans for growth in 2012. Here are the results.

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  • 1. 2012SALESPULSESURVEYEXECUTIVE OVERVIEW & SURVEY FINDINGS
  • 2. 2012 Executive Summary Sales process improvement is at the center of 2012 growth strategies that focus on value delivery Each November Alexander Group conducts the Sales Pulse With growth expectations high, sales Survey (SPS) in conjunction with its Chief Sales Executive Forum. 2011/2012 SPS findings indicate that growth ambitions executives are taking care to identify continue to ascend despite expectations for on-going high potential growth opportunities weakness in the economy. With a median 2012 growth objective of 10% how do participating executives plan to grow and invest in sales resources that can much faster than GDP? Consider the following: close business by delivering more value and better ROI. In many cases 1. High growth companies are twice as likely to invest significant dollars in their sales organizations. this means transforming sales processes and tools to better deliver 2. High growth companies are planning to convert new accounts as their primary source of sales growth. problem solving expertise to customers that demand more 3. New accounts will be acquired from both the Global and National account segments. substance from the partners they choose to do business with. 4. Solution selling will lead the way in closing business at new accounts in all segments. 5. High growth companies are NOT depending on new products to drive growth. 6. High growth companies are investing to enrich sales processes and sales tools to deliver more value in highly competitive markets.2 2012 SALES PULSE SURVEY RESULTS
  • 3. PARTICIPANTS BY INDUSTRYCOMPUTER SOFTWARE HEALTH CARE AEROSPACE & DEFENSE SECURITY PRODUCTS & SERVICES CONSUMER PRODUCTS MANUFACTURERS COMPUTER SERVICES FOOD FINANCIAL SERVICES CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRIAL MANUFACTURING 92 COMPANIES 14 AUTOMOTIVE & TRANSPORT INSURANCE PHARMACEUTICALS MANUFACTURING TELECOMMUNICATIONS EQUIPMENT ELECTRONICS CHEMICALS COMPUTER HARDWARE OTHER MEDIA INDUSTRIES TRANSPORTATION BUSINESS SERVICES SERVICES TELECOMMUNICATIONS SERVICES 3 2012 SALES PULSE SURVEY RESULTS
  • 4. PARTICIPANTS BY REVENUE IN 2012 >$5 BILLION 27% 13% $100 MILLION OR LESS 75% WERE FROM COMPANIES WITH MORE THAN $500 MILLION IN REVENUE 18% $101 MILLION - $500 MILLION 37% 11%$1.01 BILLION - $5 BILLION $501 MILLION - $1 BILLION4 2012 SALES PULSE SURVEY RESULTS
  • 5. 2012 Sales Leader Expectations Sales Leaders are optimistic about their performance in 2012 Less optimistic about the business environment and overall economy MY COMPANY OVERALL BUSINESS CONDITIONS Looking ahead, do you think that a year from now your company’s year-to-date sales will be greater OVERALL ECONOMY than, less than or about the same as right now? When considering business conditions overall, do you think that companies will see increased, decreased or about the same amount of sales opportunities over the next four quarters? 75% When considering business conditions in the country as a whole, do you think that over the next year we will see economic growth, decline or 55% 52% no change? 35% 31% 22% 17% 10% 3% DECLINE IN 2012 REMAINS THE SAME GROWTH IN 20125 2012 SALES PULSE SURVEY RESULTS
  • 6. SALES RESULTS Q: When considering your 2011 vs 2010 organization’s 2011 performance against your annual 2011 sales plan, would you say that current sales outcomes are better than, worse than, or about the same as WORSE THAN PREVIOUS YEAR this time last year? BETTER THAN THIS TIME LAST YEAR 18% 32% 50% 50% EXPECTED IMPROVED RESULTS IN 2011 COMPARED TO 2010 ABOUT THE SAME6 2012 SALES PULSE SURVEY RESULTS
  • 7. PERCENT OF SALES LEADERS WHO… FOR 2011 FOR 2012 CHANGE …Forecast growth compared to previous year 82% 75% 7% …Expect more sales opportunities for their businesses 61% 35% 26% …Expect overall economic conditions to improve 55% 31% 24% …Plan to invest more in sales 68% 58% 10% Sales Leaders are less enthusiastic when compared to last year Expectations for the general economy are the most pessimistic7 2012 SALES PULSE SURVEY RESULTS
  • 8. NUMBER OF COMPANIES BY 2012 GROWTH RATE Sales Leaders overall expect a return to double-digit growth in 2012 Though there continues to be a wide range of growth expectations 28 34 20 17 5 <=0 1-5% 6-10% 11-19% >=20%8 2012 SALES PULSE SURVEY RESULTS
  • 9. PERCENT OF COMPANIES PLANNING TO INVEST MORE IN THEIR SALES ORGANIZATION High Growth companies are almost 2x as likely to invest in sales Low Growth companies will need a plan to return to higher revenue growth <=0% 0% 1-5% 39% PLANNED GROWTH RATE 6-10% 71% 11-19% 70% >=20% 65%9 2012 SALES PULSE SURVEY RESULTS
  • 10. MEDIAN SALES INVESTMENT BY GROWTH CATEGORYHigh Growth companies invest more in their sales budget and headcount, but this investment is still below growth goals 20 15 10 5 0 -5 -10 <=0% 1-5% 6-10% 11-19% >=20% SALES BUDGET CHANGE SALES HEADCOUNT CHANGE10 2012 SALES PULSE SURVEY RESULTS
  • 11. SALES STRATEGY Sales Leaders will employ a mix of sales strategies for 2012 New Business Acquisition and Cross-Selling are the most critical growth drivers MAINTAIN A HIGHER CROSS-SELL NEW BUSINESS SALES STRATEGY PERCENTAGE OF EXISTING ACQUISITION CURRENT CUSTOMERS CUSTOMERS Global 5% 16% 15% Customer National 6% 23% 13% Segment Small/Medium 5% 4% 13% Business11 2012 SALES PULSE SURVEY RESULTS
  • 12. HIGH GROWTH COMPANIES VS LOW GROWTH COMPANIES High Growth companies expect new business Low Growth companies are more focused on acquisition to drive more growth, particularly cross-selling to existing customers to for global accounts drive growth. Maintain a Higher Cross-sell NEW BUSINESS Maintain a Higher CROSS-SELL New Business Percentage of Existing ACQUISITION Percentage of EXISTING Acquisition Current Customers Customers Current Customers CUSTOMERS Global 0% 8% 25% Global 7% 21% 10% National 3% 19% 17% National 7% 25% 10% Small/Medium Small/Medium Business 3% 8% 17% Business 6% 1% 10% High Growth Companies (>10%) Low Growth Companies (<=10%)12 2012 SALES PULSE SURVEY RESULTS
  • 13. PLANNED GROWTH RATE More High Growth companies expect business to come from new customer acquisition 18% 13% 20% 25% 45% 25% 60% 46% 47% 55% 62% 20% 29% 35% <=0 1-5% 6-10% 11-19% >=20% MAINTAIN A HIGH % OF CROSS-SELL NEW BUSINESS ACQUISITION CURRENT CUSTOMERS EXISTING CUSTOMERS13 2012 SALES PULSE SURVEY RESULTS
  • 14. PLANNED GROWTH RATE High Growth companies expect more results from SMB Global and National Accounts are still the dominant business segments 11% 26% 25% 31% 40% 46% 30% 41% 50% 60% 43% 33% 45% 19% <=0 1-5% 6-10% 11-19% >=20% GLOBAL NATIONAL SMALL/MEDIUM BUSINESS14 2012 SALES PULSE SURVEY RESULTS
  • 15. SOLUTION SELLING Solution Selling is a major lever to “add value” for customers Sales Leaders expect to better understand customer needs in 2012 36% of Executives specifically mentioned different aspects of “solution selling” as the way their organization will add value for customers in 2012.15 2012 SALES PULSE SURVEY RESULTS
  • 16. MOST MENTIONED HIGH-IMPACT INITIATIVES COMPANIES EXPECT NEW PRODUCT LAUNCHES, IMPROVED SALES PROCESSES AND IMPROVED SALES EXECUTION TO HAVE THE BIGGEST IMPACT IN 2012 0 5 10 15 20 25 NEW PRODUCTS SALES PROCESSES VALUE SELLING MARKET EXPANSION CRM IMPLEMENTATION RESOURCE DEPLOYMENT TERRITORY PLANNING CUSTOMER FOCUS SALES TRAINING SALES COMPENSATION SALES TALENT SALES MANAGER TRAINING16 2012 SALES PULSE SURVEY RESULTS
  • 17. THE KEYS TO SUCCESS Among High Growth companies customer focused sales processes and value selling are seen to be the keys to success MOST MENTIONED LOW GROWTH MEDIUM GROWTH HIGH GROWTH <6% 6-10% >10% NEW PRODUCTS SALES MANAGER CUSTOMER FOCUS TRAINING VALUE SELLING SALES PROCESSES SALES PROCESSES NEW PRODUCTS MARKET EXPANSION CRM IMPLEMENTATION SALES PROCESSES NEW PRODUCTS SALES TALENT MARKET EXPANSION CRM IMPLEMENTATION SALES COMP MARKET EXPANSION RESOURCE DEPLOYMENT TERRITORY PLANNING NEW CHANNELS VALUE SELLING RESOURCE DEPLOYMENT PRICING LEAST VALUE SELLING TERRITORY PLANNING NEW CUSTOMERS MENTIONED17 2012 SALES PULSE SURVEY RESULTS
  • 18. ABOUT ALEXANDER GROUP Alexander Group provides sales management consulting services to the world’s leading sales organizations, serving Global 2000 companies from across all industries. Founded in 1985, Alexander Group has a highly sophisticated set of best practices to grow sales, as well as the industry’s richest database, with detailed analytics on more than 100,000 sales representatives from over 250 companies. Alexander Group combines deep experience and data-driven insights to help sales leaders make informed decisions that propel growth. For more information on Alexander Group visit www.alexandergroup.com28 2012 SALES PULSE SURVEY RESULTS