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.

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Sales Effectiveness 2012

  1. 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 www.ESResearch.com
  2. 2. Agenda Some sobering Conclusions selling statistics I welcome questions as they come… Immediate Five imperatives actions
  3. 3. The Research The average tenure of a VP of Sales is 18-21 months. Source: CSO Insights 2007
  4. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 9. Want Sales Effectiveness in 2012? Think: “Survival of the fittest.” Photo: © petrol - Fotolia.com
  10. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 16. Imperative #4: Embrace Technology-Enabled Selling • Sales 2.0 – Web 2.0 for sales effectiveness – Knowledge and content management, • OutStart’s SellingEdge.com – 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. 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. 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. 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. 20. What’s your plan to assure that your company is more competitive in 2012?
  21. 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. 22. First Steps for Sales Effectiveness in 2012 2. Implement new approaches to training • Reconsider the traditional three-day classroom training program
  23. 23. First Steps for Sales Effectiveness in 2012 3. Align sales and marketing • Begin with value articulation and messaging Photo: © Orlando Florin Rosu - Fotolia.com
  24. 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. 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. 26. Questions?
  27. 27. Thank you.

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