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Sales Planning like it’s 1999

For business-to-business sales leaders, planning has not changed since the late ‘90s. The highly subjective, rearview approach that’s still used today produces targets that are disconnected from the reality of sales performance. Savvy CSOs are starting to pave a new path. With digital tools and analytics, they are adopting a more intelligent approach to target setting—one that drives, not hinders, profitability.

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Sales Planning like it’s 1999

  1. 1. Copyright © 2016 Accenture All rights reserved. Accenture, its logo, and High Performance Delivered are trademarks of Accenture. Sales planning like it's 1999? Take the guesswork out of target setting
  2. 2. Is your sales planning stuck in the '90s? Copyright © 2016 Accenture All rights reserved. Accenture, its logo, and High Performance Delivered are trademarks of Accenture. For business-to-business (B2B) sales leaders, sales planning has not changed since spreadsheet and database use peaked in the late 1990s. Yet planning is still — at its core — based on historical observations and gut feelings.
  3. 3. Copyright © 2016 Accenture All rights reserved. Accenture, its logo, and High Performance Delivered are trademarks of Accenture. Quotas are still a very big deal. • Up to 90% of companies in certain industries employ quota-based compensation models. • Quotas inform or control nearly 25% of an organization's total sales-related spending. And their use is still widespread.
  4. 4. Copyright © 2016 Accenture All rights reserved. Accenture, its logo, and High Performance Delivered are trademarks of Accenture. Popularity and importance don't equal effectiveness. Accenture Strategy’s research and experience has revealed a major disconnect between sales planning and company performance. • We estimate that poor quota setting causes companies to spend 6—10% more than they should. • While 63% of sales reps meet or exceed their quotas, their companies achieve, on average, just 90% of their revenue targets.
  5. 5. What’s going on? • Overpay for under-performance: Sellers are often rewarded for being at the tail end of a successful team’s conga line. In fact, as much as 20% of sales attainment can be attributed to lucky sellers who weren’t directly involved in the deal. • Create what amounts to a “quota lottery” for their sellers: Sales performance, as defined today, is highly random due to poor sales planning and inaccurate target setting. • Rely on guesswork to set quotas: Guesswork makes quotas worse, not better. Many Chief Sales Officers (CSOs) simply find it hard to reject the status quo. They continue to: Copyright © 2016 Accenture All rights reserved. Accenture, its logo, and High Performance Delivered are trademarks of Accenture.
  6. 6. Copyright © 2016 Accenture All rights reserved. Accenture, its logo, and High Performance Delivered are trademarks of Accenture. Savvy CSOs are starting to pave a new path. With digital tools and analytics, they are adopting a more intelligent approach to target setting — one that drives, not hinders, profitability.
  7. 7. Copyright © 2016 Accenture All rights reserved. Accenture, its logo, and High Performance Delivered are trademarks of Accenture. 1 Commit to the fight for more intelligent quotas, one that sets quotas by territory and product group, accurately forecasts market potential, and matches opportunity with talent. How can leaders transform the goaling process? It starts with adjusting their mindsets and agreeing to stop doing things that impede quota value. We recommend leaders focus on three key actions:
  8. 8. Copyright © 2016 Accenture All rights reserved. Accenture, its logo, and High Performance Delivered are trademarks of Accenture. 2 Arm themselves by augmenting their workforce with digital tools, advanced analytics and robotics that can put high-quality data to work. How can leaders transform the goaling process? It starts with adjusting their mindsets and agreeing to stop doing things that impede quota value. We recommend leaders focus on three key actions:
  9. 9. Copyright © 2016 Accenture All rights reserved. Accenture, its logo, and High Performance Delivered are trademarks of Accenture. 3 Prepare the troops with a strong change management program and phased approach that make the transition to a new way of working easier, helping sales reps and managers see the value for themselves. How can leaders transform the goaling process? It starts with adjusting their mindsets and agreeing to stop doing things that impede quota value. We recommend leaders focus on three key actions:
  10. 10. LEARN MORE about how to join the quota revolution with our full report: Copyright © 2016 Accenture All rights reserved. Accenture, its logo, and High Performance Delivered are trademarks of Accenture. Sales planning like it's 1999? Take the guesswork out of target setting @AccentureStrat Follow us on Linkedin

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  • MattZink1

    Jan. 6, 2017
  • juliocardenas1970

    Oct. 27, 2019
  • NoraZartler

    Apr. 18, 2020

For business-to-business sales leaders, planning has not changed since the late ‘90s. The highly subjective, rearview approach that’s still used today produces targets that are disconnected from the reality of sales performance. Savvy CSOs are starting to pave a new path. With digital tools and analytics, they are adopting a more intelligent approach to target setting—one that drives, not hinders, profitability.

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