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Sales Effectiveness 2012


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Slides from the keynote I delivered at Richardson\'s Client Forum 2008: The current situation with selling (October 2008) and what it will take to achieve sales effectiveness in 2012. …

Slides from the keynote I delivered at Richardson\'s Client Forum 2008: The current situation with selling (October 2008) and what it will take to achieve sales effectiveness in 2012.

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  • 1. Sales Effectiveness: 2012 Richardson Client Forum October 29, 2008 Dave Stein CEO & Founder, ES Research Group, Inc. © 2008 – ES Research Group, Inc. – All Rights Reserved
  • 2. Agenda Some sobering Conclusions selling statistics I welcome questions as they come… Immediate Five imperatives actions
  • 3. The Research The average tenure of a VP of Sales is 18-21 months. Source: CSO Insights 2007
  • 4. The Research • Depending on the industry, 25 to 33% of sales people are unsuited for their job.1 • In 2007, 38.5% of salespeople missed their annual objective. Turnover among salespeople last year was 40%.2 1 Among ES Research Group, Inc. Clients 2 Sales Benchmark Index
  • 5. The Research • Three out of five companies surveyed do not have a sales performance measurement program in place.2 • Only 37% of companies report forecast accuracy is greater than 50%.1 • Only 43% of companies responding said they had a formal sales training program. Of those, only 50% provided sales skills training.3 1 CSO Insights 2 ES Research Group, Inc. 3 DePaul University Study
  • 6. The Research • Half of sales organizations feel that marketing needs to improve the quality and quantity of the leads they are providing to reps. Another one-third feel that they are only adequate.1 • More than 8 out of 10 deals lost are due either or both of:2 – Ineffective qualification – Lack of sales process and planning 1 CSO Insights 2 ES Research Group, Inc.
  • 7. The Research: Conclusions • Sales is dead last: attrition, process, measurement, and performance. • The three main reasons: 1.Perception of sales being an “art” versus the “science” that it (mostly) is. 2.Many sales leaders exhibit management/leadership competency deficits – Often promotion from best salesrep 3.Quarter-by-quarter short-term pressures tactical approach
  • 8. Conclusions: Other Factors 1. Buyers are increasingly savvy 2. Competition is increasingly relentless 3. Commoditization is increasingly prevalent 4. The economy is now a significant obstacle
  • 9. Want Sales Effectiveness in 2012? Think: “Survival of the fittest.” Photo: © petrol -
  • 10. Five Imperatives for Sales Effectiveness in 2012 1. Close the discipline and process gap 2. Implement new approaches to learning/ training 3. Align sales and marketing 4. Embrace technology-enabled selling 5. Measure sales performance
  • 11. Imperative #1: Close Discipline and Process Gap 1. Opportunity & Account Management • Planning: Combining zoom-in and zoom-out • Engineered methods and processes are required 2. Hiring • Mis-hires can cost > $500k • Throw ‘em to the wolves… 3. Lead/Demand Generation • Special competencies/personnel required • Closed-loop systems must be utilized 4. Sales Channels • Recruit, hire, develop, measure, manage, and compensate appropriately
  • 12. Imperative #2: New Approaches to Learning/Training 1. Anytime, anywhere • Traditional classroom training less effective • Heterogeneity, experiential, generational, cultural • Time and cost 2. Personalized • Self-directed, self-paced • Localized (language and business practices) • Job specific (vertical, hunter/farmer, etc.) •…
  • 13. Imperative #2: New Approaches to Learning/Training 3. Renewed focus on coaching • Install and employ formal coaching processes 4. Technology is playing an increasingly significant role • Training companies with strong technology capabilities will lead the market in 2012. 5. A strategic approach must be taken
  • 14. Imperative #3: Sales and Marketing Alignment 1. Messaging based around differentiation and anti- commoditization 2. Value articulation for all constituencies 3. Competitive intelligence and positioning – Company / product / solution / sales team 4. Demand generation retooling…
  • 15. Imperative #3: Sales and Marketing Alignment 5. Tools – Cost-justification, ROI, knowledge management 6. Marketing must lead the charge for sensing, finding, clarifying and assessing new opportunities for organic growth.* 7. Better metrics for ongoing improvement. * Source: ISBM 2010 Study
  • 16. Imperative #4: Embrace Technology-Enabled Selling • Sales 2.0 – Web 2.0 for sales effectiveness – Knowledge and content management, • OutStart’s – Just-in-time, anywhere learning and coaching – Collaboration intra-team and inter-customer • Discussion forums, wikis, groups, expert profiles – Business/social networking • LinkedIn, Plaxo, Spoke – Tools (process support, optimization, metrics, etc.) • WhiteSprings, Forcelogix – Multi-device access – And so much more…
  • 17. Imperative #5: Measure Sales Performance • Only 40% of companies have any real measurement system in place. • ROI’s are scarce – Business case = more investment • Most companies look only at trailing indicators – YTD, QTD, MTD • Real leverage comes into play with a combination of leading (behavioral) and lagging (performance) indicators. • You can’t manage what you don’t measure
  • 18. Imperative #5: Measure Sales Performance Real or Perceived barriers: • Cost • No expertise • Unreliable systems • No processes • No competency model • Fear • Long sales cycle • Too many variables
  • 19. Imperative #5: Sales Performance Management The specific impact of sales training and other sales performance improvement programs, tools and initiatives can be measured.
  • 20. What’s your plan to assure that your company is more competitive in 2012?
  • 21. First Steps for Sales Effectiveness in 2012 1. Close the discipline and process gap • Adopt or build a profile-based sales hiring process Skills & Traits Scale Behaviors Has a basic understanding of how businesses operate. Low Unacceptable Can explain department functions, organizational dynamics, and is comfortable selling to department Medium managers. Unacceptable Skill: Business Knowledge • Understands and can explain customer and industry value chain issues • Can read and interpret financial statements High • Can talk comfortably with executives of different departments about how their product will contribute to that executive achieving their business objectives.
  • 22. First Steps for Sales Effectiveness in 2012 2. Implement new approaches to training • Reconsider the traditional three-day classroom training program
  • 23. First Steps for Sales Effectiveness in 2012 3. Align sales and marketing • Begin with value articulation and messaging Photo: © Orlando Florin Rosu -
  • 24. First Steps for Sales Effectiveness in 2012 4. Embrace technology- enabled selling • Get up to speed on where technology-enabled selling is currently and is going • Assess your current capabilities • Devise a strategy to leverage current and emerging technologies
  • 25. First Steps for Sales Effectiveness in 2012 5. Measure sales performance • Understand how you are measuring performance now • Explore alternative strategies for measuring performance going forward.
  • 26. Questions?
  • 27. Thank you.