Sales Execution Trends 2014 - How Do You Measure Up? | Qvidian


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Qvidian surveyed hundreds of sales professionals to benchmark the key objectives for their sales organizations, and the challenges they face to meet those objectives, as well as the current conditions, obstacles, and investment areas needed to improve sales execution.

Today, sales teams need to transform in support of how customers buy now, and in line with the buyer’s process. Customers are seeking simplification in the buying process. They want vendors who are respected experts, that understand their business and objectives, and align their sales process to those objectives.

According to Forrester research, “90% of sales people (that’s 90%) fail at connecting buyer’s challenges with their own solution”.

58% of buyers disengage with sales teams and stay with the status quo. Why - The number one reason why buyers disengage is because salespeople did not present value effectively or were not aligned to buyer’s specific business challenges.

90% of selling content is never used in selling because sales can’t find the right resources. And 88% of missed opportunities were because sales couldn’t find or leverage internal resources, and spent less time selling. So, they are misaligned to buyer stages, and end up not presenting the right value. And they can’t present value because they can’t find the right resources which eventually leads to missed opportunities and poor sales performance.

94% of executive management view increasing win rates as the single most important focus area for their sales leaders this year.

These were the top ten objectives (out of all):

Capture new accounts (58%)
Increase penetration into existing accounts (46%)
Increase sales effectiveness & performance (25%)
Improve customer loyalty & satisfaction (20%)
Optimize deal size via up-selling & cross-selling (20%)
Improve team selling (17%)
Reduce sell cycle time (14%) Reduce ramp-up time for new sales people (7%)
Increase reorder & renewal rates (6%)
Retain top sales talent (4%)

Some 29% of companies expect to expand their sales organizations between 10%-30% in the coming year, with over 6% expecting to grow over 30%. Every day a sales rep is not at full productivity equates to considerable losses in quota targets. On average, it takes 40% of organizations between 7-12 months to effectively onboard and get new sales reps to productivity.

The top two challenges facing sales organizations include sales cycles being too long (some 33%), and difficulty presenting competitive differentiation (a third as well).

Simplify, modernize, and integrate your selling systems. If you do so, sales teams will use it because they will see the value and results. As a result of use, management will have visibility to what is working and what is not. Then and only then will you be able to focus on Sales Execution.

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Sales Execution Trends 2014 - How Do You Measure Up? | Qvidian

  1. 1. Sales Execution Trends 2014 1
  2. 2. Introduction #SalesExecution • 24 years Sales & Marketing Executive • Author of Sales Execution Trends • Research focused on quantitative and qualitative aspects of sales, marketing and buyer trends 2
  3. 3. Agenda • Today’s Selling Environment • Research Highlights • Most Important to Executive Management • Key Sales Objectives For 2014 • Top Challenges Facing Sales Organizations • Areas for Improvement • Sales Execution Technology Evolution • Conclusions 3
  4. 4. Selling Then & Selling Now Then Now Less Informed Buyers More Informed Buyers Product Focused Business Outcomes Focused Individual Decision Making Team Decision Making Go-To-Market Models Go-To-Customer Models Relationship Based Return on Investment Based 4
  5. 5. Selling Then & Selling Now Vendor Selling Process Customer Buying Process Coverage Models Precision-oriented - Simplification Demonstrate Product Aligned Objectives – Understand Business Build Relationships Over Time Gain Access – Validate Problem Feature Differentiation Successful Meetings – Decision Patterns Propose & Quote Build Shared Vision – Path to Success 5
  6. 6. Today’s Selling Environment is Tougher… Doing More with Less
  7. 7. Further Complicating Selling Environment 60% 58% 90% 88% of buyer’s journey completed before ever interacting with sales Pipeline ends up in “no decision” (stalled) because value has not been effectively presented Selling content is never used in selling because sales can’t find the right resources of missed opportunities were because sales couldn’t find resources misaligned to buyer stages not presenting right value can’t find resources poor performance x 7
  8. 8. Research Highlights Surveyed Sales Professionals Around the Globe on their Key Objectives & Top Challenges in the Coming Year Key Findings: • Global Shift from Maintenance Mode to Growth Mode as Economies Improve 53% Inconsistent in sales execution 90% Sales Execution top 5 corporate priority • Two-Thirds of Organizations Expect to Grow Sales Team in 2014 34% Lack of consistent sales process 50% Sales organizations NOT performing to full potential 41% Limited visibility into what’s not working 42% Scattered content and resources • Sales Execution Challenges and Complexity in Sales Cycle Hinder Achieving Goals • Majority are Not Confident in Sales Organization’s Ability to Transform and be More Agile 8
  9. 9. Executive Management Viewpoint Most Important to Executive Management Increasing win rates 94% Improving overall quota attainment 87% Increasing deal sizes 83% Greater visibility 82% Shortening sales cycles 75% 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 100 2014 9
  10. 10. Top Sales Objectives Top Sales Objectives for 2014 Capture new accounts 58% Increase penetration into existing accounts 46% Increase sales effectiveness & performance #1 Capture New Accounts 25% Improve customer loyalty & satisfaction 20% Optimize deal size via up-selling & cross-selling 20% Reduce sell cycle time #2 Increase Penetration into Existing Accounts 14% Reduce ramp-up time for new sales people 7% Increase reorder & renewal rates 6% 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 2014 10
  11. 11. Priorities – Growth Mode Companies Growth Mode Drivers Capture new business Accelerate sales onboarding & ramp up time Support new product launches Increase existing account penetration
  12. 12. Growing Sales Organizations Key Priority 29% 40% plan to expand sales team between 10%-30% 7-12 months to effectively onboard new reps Challenges and obstacles for ramping new sales teams: • 87% of training is forgotten within weeks when not embedded in selling process • 58% of new sales rep time is spent not selling 12
  13. 13. Priorities – Fix Mode Companies Fix Mode Drivers Better communicate value in selling process Make selling resources more accessible and aligned to buyers Make sales process more consistent Improve top rep retention Improve customer retention Visibility into what’s not working
  14. 14. Top Challenges Facing Sales Organizations 33% Sales Cycles Too Long 33% Difficulty Presenting Differentiation 24% Common Sales Process Across Organization 20% Difficulty Establishing ROI 16% Poor Sales & Marketing Alignment 13% Unadaptable Sales Process 14
  15. 15. Not Achieving Quota Why Sales is Not Achieving Quota Opportunities end up as no decisions Sales unable to effectively communicate value Sales burdened with tasks & spend less time selling Selling content and resources not aligned to buyer stages Selling content not tailored to specific selling situation Inability to find selling content or resources 0 Most Likely 10 20 30 40 50 60 Likely 15
  16. 16. Areas for Improvement Top Areas That Need Improvement Conducting Thorough Needs Analysis Identify and Gain Access to All Decision Makers Clearly Understand Customer's Buying Process Generating Winning Proposals and Personalized Selling… Differentiate From Competition Providing Content Specific to Selling Situation & Buyer Stage Effectively Present Value 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 Needs Improvement 16
  17. 17. The Gap in Sales Execution Remains Typical Actions to Close Gap: Strategy Gap • Buyers more savvy • Sales process more complex • Reps have not transformed More Training however, 87% is forgotten within weeks More Content 70% are halfway to decision before Sales is engaged Sales Execution Reasons Why Actions Not Closing Gap: • Disconnected activities • Misaligned with buyer stages • Not specific to each selling situation • Can’t keep up with rate of change • Value not presented More Sales Reps 9 mo avg ramp up time 58% of time not selling 17
  18. 18. Sales Execution Technology Evolution Common siloed investments - sales training, support, and enablement • Typically stand-alone point solutions for smaller problems Value to Sales Leaders Coaching Personalized or Online Training Didactic in nature, but needed Proposals CRM (SFA) Centralized account & opportunity information Marketing (MA) Lead generation & campaign execution Centralized content for proposals, RFPs, etc. Collaboration Content Portal Internally or externally generated Data Feeds Sales Support Added layer of customer information Point solutions of nice-to-have tools Business Impact Lightweight social tools for sharing • Tools for tactical sales support • Muted prioritization • Helpful, but not focused on sales execution or closing business • What’s missing is framework that leverages existing investments to actually guide sales behavior
  19. 19. Buyer Types & Decision Emotives (to solve a problem) (to institute change) Influencer(s) Decision Maker C Level of Influence High B Evaluator(s) Low Executive Sponsor D A (to achieve results) Low High Level of Involvement (to validate options)
  20. 20. Vision for Effective Sales Execution Need to Guide Sales Teams Through Each Specific Selling Situation & Align to Buyer Stages • Connect process, content, & resources aligned with buyers • Streamline sales complexity into interactive, repeatable process Buyer • Identify what’s working, what’s not, in order to make best practices repeatable CRM Contextual Data Layer From CRM Reliance on CRM to answer strategic questions and drive sales process is like driving a car without a steering wheel. Sales Rep 20
  21. 21. Conclusions 29% 50% 41% 90% 60% 58% 90% 88% planning to expand sales team 10%-30% Sales organizations NOT performing to full potential Limited visibility into what’s not working Sales Execution top 5 corporate priority 21
  22. 22. Key Takeaways Link Align Leverage training, coaching, reinforcement, an d other resources directly into selling process teams, processes, content, and resources specifically to buying processes existing investments by bridging them in an integrated selling process to drive sales behavior 22
  23. 23. Download full report: 23
  24. 24. About Qvidian • 15 Year Proven History • Loyal Customer Base • 1,200+ Customers • 100% Cloud-based • End-to-End Solution • Constantly Innovating Customers increase win rates by 28% and improve productivity by 40%.
  25. 25. Contact • North America: +1 513-631-1155 • Europe: +44 (0) 870-734-7778 #SalesExecution #Qvidian x 25
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