The TAS Group Webinar
The Global Sales Industry –
Part 2: A Regional Perspective
Will Wiegler, CMO, The TAS Group
Here it the agenda for today’s webinar.
The Dealmaker Index is a survey used to measure sales effectiveness for companies and individual sales professionals. For those who participate in the Index, it analyzes their activities, behaviors and attitudes about selling and their alignmentwithin their own companies. It provides insight for 3 audiences:The individual sales professional who is taking the surveyThe company that participates. The entire sales industry. For the individual sales professional, it produces a detailed custom sales performance success roadmap for that person.For the company, If you have a number of sales professionals across a company take the index survey, then it produces a detailed custom sales performance success roadmap for that company.And how does it benefit the industry? Based on an analysis of the 92 questions, we map sales performance across areas such as deal close rates, sales cycle management, value creation and sales opportunity development. We then analyze the data that was collected by these questions, and base our research on this, which I will share with you now. We are also preparing a PDF report of our findings and it will be available soon. Since you registered for this webinar, we will be sure to let you know how you can get a free copy of this Index Report as soon as it’s final.
The Dealmaker Index is the measure of sales effectiveness or vlocity, which for sales reps or companies, translates to how much revenue do you generate per unit of cost or time. This is what the Dealmaker Index is designed to measure – and we’ve developed an equation to measure Sales Velocity. In the Sales Velocity Equation, you take the number of sales opportunities that are won or lost in a given time period (#)Multiplied by the average value of those deals (measured in dollars or whatever currency you use – we used a $ in this case)Multiplied by your win rate (% because it’s the percentage of deals you win)And you divide it all by the length of your sales cycle (L for length), This is the average length of time you are working on a deal before it is either lost or won. If the numbers on the top of the equation goes up, then your Sales Velocity (or dollars/day) rises.If the number on the bottom of the equation goes up, then your Sales Velocity (or dollars/day) goes down. So if, for example, everything remains constant except the length of your sales cycle gets longer, then your sales velocity (or dollars per day) is getting worse. Makes sense, right?We believe that these are the only four factors that affect sales velocity, which is a measure of your sales effectiveness. To increase sales effectiveness, you must increase the factors above the line, and decrease the factor below the line. For example, if you make changes in how you sell so that the number of deals in your pipeline, the average deal size and your win rate each increase by 10%, and you decrease the length of the sales cycle by 10%, you get an increase in sales velocity of 48%.It’s an interesting and accurate way to measure sales effectiveness.
If you want information on the Sales Velocity Equation, please read our White Paper: The Simple Formula for Sales Success.It’s available in the Resources section of our web site:thetasgroup.com
Let’s start by looking at who participated in this Index. We had almost 750 fully completed Index surveys. Most of the participants are in B2B. And most of these are in a sales-related role, either directly in a Business Unit, or a supporting Service unit.[Actually, 734 respondents in total]
In addition, most of the respondents are male, and in terms of age, the largest group - 41% - are in the 41-50 age category. We also asked about whether people use a sales methodology, and if so, which one.As you probably know, we offer the TAS (or Target Account Selling) methodology, but the participants actually use a variety of methodologies, or in some cases, none at all. Although we would love to see 100% of all sales professionals using TAS methodology, for the purpose of this survey, it actually provides more balanced data by having it cover a variety of methodology use cases.
In regional terms, most of the respondents came from North America. EMEA made up just under a third (31%), with the rest coming from APAC and South America.
We also looked at Industries and Company Sizes, based on revenue. We believe that the need for sales effectiveness best practices is especially important in companies that sell sophisticated offerings with a long sales cycle, because in these companies the salesperson adds a great deal of value and their effectiveness is crucial to the sale. And these are the companies that actually tend to invest the most in Sales Effectiveness solutions.And the participants in the study reflect this. The ‘High Tech’ sector accounted for 25% of the respondent base, followed by ‘Industrials’ at 18%. Professional services are also well represented at 15%.The respondents in the study also represent companies from a broad spectrum of revenue ranges. And the finding represent small business, mid-tier companies, and large enterprises.
I want to set the stage by reviewing some of the high level results that we covered in last month’s webinar and then we’ll get into some new findings about how sales teams in different parts of the world compare.We looked at how many of the individual respondents achieve their sales quota. 32% of respondents claimed to be over quota over the last 3 years, which points to 68% of the selling industry not exceeding theirquota over the last 3 years.
We also looked at this data across sales teams. About a third of companies had less than 50% of their sales team achieving quota, with a third of them achieving 50 to 75% quota, and the remaining third seeing more than 75% quota.
Overall, companies reported good win rates in 2012. Respondents were asked what percentage of qualified sales opportunities results in a sale. Of course, different companies will define “qualified” in different ways. Nevertheless, 17% reported win rates of less than 25%, and 45% were successful more than half the time.
With a predominantly B2B audience, sales cycle lengths were measured in months rather than weeks. Fewer than 5% of respondents had a typical sales cycle of less than one month. The bulk of our respondents, 59%, fell within the 4 to 12 month range.And 15% have sales cycles longer than12 months
With forecasting accuracy hovering around the 50% mark from research over the last few years, Forecasting might as well be done by flipping a coin.That said, business planning still relies on forecasts, so businesses should continue to look at how they can forecast more accurately. In the Dealmaker Index survey, respondents were asked if they agreed or disagreed with the statement that they usually closed deals as originally forecasted. 59% agreed, and 41% disagreed. That’s not so far from a 50-50 coin toss.
Last month we shared many of our Global findings in the first part of our webinar. We also talked about the impacts of using sales methodology, engaging in social media, and more. If you missed that webianr or would like to see it again, please watch the recording of that webinar. It’s on the Resources pages of our website: thetasgroup.com.
Today, we’re going to focus on specific conclusions we can draw for some key geographicregions that were well represented in the Dealmaker Index survey.
We analyzed the 92 questions in the Index, and came up with 10 key factors that will have maximum impact on your selling effort. And their importance varies depending on the region where you sell. These 10 factors mattered to differing degrees according to the particular region. We organized survey respondents into 4 regions, some of which overlap: the UKthe UK and Eurozone countries taken togetherEMEA as a whole (EMEA stands for Europe, Middle East and Africa)and North America (which includes the USA, Canada and Mexico, but is predominantly the USA). We’ll look at each of these 10 factors, one at a time.
First – maximizing revenue. We found globally that those reps who are effective at maximizing key revenue from accounts were 46% more likely to make quota. How do we know this? The survey included the statement: “We are effective at maximizing revenue from key accounts”And asked people to – agree, agree strongly, disagree, strongly disagree, etc., and we correlated their responses against their quota achievement. Then we’ve further sorted the data by regions. This is the approach we’ve taken for each of the 10 factors. Let’s see what happens in the regions.
What we found is that when you are effective at maximizing revenue from key accounts, you are 227% more likely to make quota in the UK, 63% more likely across the UK and EU, 75% more likely across EMEA, and 34% across North America. When we talk about “maximizing revenue from key accounts” – this is really doing Account Planning or Account Management.So the bigger number for the UK means that there is more upside potential for them to make their quota IF they can do a better job at getting revenue from key accounts. Or in other words, they need to focus more on Account Management because they could do a whole lot better if they did.And if you look at the difference in numbers between UK and North America, the folks in the UK are doing a poorer job at Account Management, assuming we are holding Quota Achievement as a measure of a successful sales person.Why is North America better at this? It may be that they are more competitive, or possibly have a more comprehensive approach to key account management. But it also tells us in the UK that focusing on key accounts can have very strong implications for quota achievement. Everyone talks about the importance of key account management, but the weighting in the UK is far more significant. The inference here is that in the UK maximizing revenue is not a strength, but it is an opportunity for those are effective at it.
Second, accessing key buyers. We found globally that those reps who can access key buyers in their customer organizations are 31% more likely to make quota.
Here again, in the UK, the numbers are quite different than in North America, and the other regions fall somewhere in between. In the UK, the ability to access key buyers made you 78% more likely to make quota. So the bigger number for the UK means that there is more upside potential for them to make their quota IF they can do a better job at accessing key buyers in their prospect organizations.The “key buyers” in our customers organizations are those that are engaged in the projects that get funding and go-ahead, and this provides access to the decision maker and results in making quota. As with maximizing revenue, North America is leading the way in this area.
Our third key area is “uncovering the customer’s business problems”, and globally reps who can do this are 35% more likely to make quota.
So the results here are different. Here, North American sales people have the biggest upside. Meaning, that they have the most to gain by uncovering their customer’s’ business problems. In this case, the UK appears to be better at uncovering the business problems of their customers.
The next key area of focus is about “differentiating your offering”. Globally, across our entire response base, reps who find it easy to differentiate their offering are 43% more likely to make quota.
Looking at all the regions, it appears that across EMEA reps are not good at differentiation. And in the UK, they are the worst at this. There is a big opportunity to do better in this area across UK and EMEA, and there is still an opportunity to do better in North America.It appears that North American reps are much better in this area than their colleagues in the rest of the world.
The next key area is “tailoring your competitive strategy”. Globally reps who can identify and develop a unique competitive strategy for each of their opportunities are 45% more likely to make quota.
Again, it looks like sales reps in North America are better at developing a tailored competitive strategy because their region has less room for improvement. UK and EU has the most room for improvement.
The next area is keeping an accurate pipeline. We found that globally, reps that have an accurate pipeline and have a clearer picture of future business are 56% more likely to make quota.
Of the 10 key factors we examined, this is the one factor that is relativelyeven across the regions, as one might expect with something as scientific as pipeline. The more accurate your pipeline, the more likely you will make quota. But even here, it tells us that there is room for improvement and there are still many sales teams that don’t have accurate pipelines. Think about how you track your pipeline… could it be better and more accurate? If you improve it, you are more likely to achieve your quota.
The next key area: “Maximizing deal value”. Again, globally, you’re 55% more likely to make quota if you are able to get the most value from each deal. And the regions…
The rest of the world is lagging significantly behind their North American counterparts on maximizing deal value. In the UK and across EMEA, it looks like reps are leaving a lot of money on the table. For reps in EMEA who can get betterat managing their deals, cross-selling, upselling, and improving attachment rates, there is a huge upside here..
The next key factor: “Advising Your Customer”. Some sales reps take the position of being a a trusted advisor to their customers, not just selling them stuff. Our survey tells us that you’re 54% more likely to make quota if you feel it’s your job to advise a customer and prevent them from making a bad decision.
The infinity sign under the UK region means that no-one, at any quota attainment level, disagreed with the statement that you should tell your customer they’re making a bad decision. Using the formula we have developed for this section means that you are infinitely more likely to make quota if you are able to be a trusted advisor.At the TAS Group we talk about something called the Trust Equation: It’s a function of your credibility with your customer, the degree to which you have THEIR interests at heart, not your own. While North American reps are accomplished advisors to their customers, not so much across EMEA, with significant opportunities for those who can achieve this high level of relationships with their buyers.
The next factor: “executing on your sales process”. Globally, we found that reps who understand and execute their sales process are 72% more likely to make quota. For the sales reps on the webinar, think about how closely you follow the sales process in your company. How might it impact your quota achievement if you did follow it better.
We found that in the UK, a very small number of quota achievers disagree with the statement that they understand and execute their sales process. These who disagree with this and still make quota are the ones who are probably the natural-born sales reps. We all know people like that – they don’t follow the process, and they still close deals. For those who are familiar with “The Challenger Sale”, these types of reps are called the ‘Lone Wolves’. They are successful and tolerated for the time being, but if they hit one bad quarter, they may find themselves in trouble. We do not think this is a scalable approach. Unless all your reps are superstars and can sell using only their intuition and good looks, then you need a sales process, and you need to execute on it.
And finally, the last key area, “managing your sales process”. Globally, reps who have and use a defined sales process for managing their forecast are 48% more likely to make quota.
From our analysis, North America is very strong in this area compared to the rest of the world, and the UK is not too far behind. But throughout the rest of Europe and EMEA, there is a bigger upside for those who use a defined sales process and manage their forecasts.
These are some of the the findings of the Dealmaker Index.And we have a lot more…In a minute, I’ll tell you about how you can use this to be a better sales person or build a better sales team.
We often get asked whywe’re collecting all this information and giving away all of this value for free?It all stems from a fundamental belief that we should all stop for a minute and consider that the impact on a customer of a bad buying decisionis typically greater than the impact on a sales person of a lost sale. So if the data in the report can help anyone’s customers avoid a bad purchase, that’s a good thing.
Let’s take a look at the Dealmaker Index itself.Here is the starting page of Dealmaker Index, Go to dealmakerindex.com.Here’s where you can register and take the survey. It takes about 15 minutes, and you can always come back later to review or change your results, or review the advice that Dealmaker Index provides.At the bottom of the page, you can see our partners in the Dealmaker Index project, and we’re very grateful to them for their support.
So what’s in it for you?Well, when you’ve completed the questions, you’re provided with a Dealmaker Index score for yourself and your organization, those are circled here in red. Your score is an index score for you or your organization, with a 1-to-5 scale, poor to superstar for the organization, and novice to ace for the individual. At the same time, your index score is converted into a percentile to place you relative to your organization or individual peer group.
But that’s not all. In addition to the score, you also get advice in 3 different reports:a company summarydetailed analysis and advice for the company, and a personal Dealmaker Index advice report.
So how can you the Dealmaker Index?First, all your sales reps can get their own score and advice.Second, you can use the Dealmaker Index as a benchmarking tool for within your sales organization. Third, you can get recommendations for your organization as a whole.Fourth, you can survey the different individual perspectives of your reps and managers on how your organization is performing. This can be particularly illuminating.And fifth, you could use the Dealmaker Index as a benchmarking exercise as part of your recruitment process, and test new reps to see how they score.
We’re in the final stages of production for the Dealmaker Index study for 2012, we’ll be sending a copy to all attendees when the report is ready.
And I want to remind you that you can watch the first half of our Dealmaker Index webinar as a recording in the Resources page on our website: thetasgroup.com.The recording from today’s webinar will be posted shortly as well.And now I’ll pass it back to Suzanne.