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Selling in the Age of Distraction – Accenture Strategy

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Chief sales officers (CSOs) have spent billions on tools to improve sales performance. Yet, sales productivity has declined over the past five years. We believe an inability to focus is largely to blame. Sales agents, sales leaders and customers now contend with different and growing sources of distraction. Too much information, too many choices, competing sales imperatives, and too many tools, processes and policies are taking their toll. By applying actionable insights and outcome selling techniques, CSOs can help cut through the noise and, in the process, shape sellers’ behaviors, as well as the outcomes customers demand and deserve.

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Selling in the Age of Distraction – Accenture Strategy

  1. 1. Copyright © 2016 Accenture All rights reserved. Accenture, its logo, and High Performance Delivered are trademarks of Accenture. Selling in the Age of Distraction
  2. 2. Copyright © 2016 Accenture All rights reserved. Accenture, its logo, and High Performance Delivered are trademarks of Accenture. One of the consequences of living in the digital age is that we're all bombarded with information, saturating both our personal and our work lives. Sales is no exception.
  3. 3. Copyright © 2016 Accenture All rights reserved. Accenture, its logo, and High Performance Delivered are trademarks of Accenture. All parties in the customer buying process are affected.
  4. 4. Copyright © 2016 Accenture All rights reserved. Accenture, its logo, and High Performance Delivered are trademarks of Accenture. For sales teams, distraction is an unintended consequence of sales productivity investments, leaving them awash in overlapping sales imperatives, an abundance of data, endless communication streams, and multitudes of tools, processes and policies. On one hand, customers are more informed and in more control than ever. On the other, they are drowning in too much information across multiple channels, touch points and offers.
  5. 5. Copyright © 2016 Accenture All rights reserved. Accenture, its logo, and High Performance Delivered are trademarks of Accenture. Despite billions in investments, the numbers tell a troubling story: Sales productivity has declined from 41% to 36% over the past five years. 55% of sales reps think their company's sales tools are an obstacle instead of a facilitator. 59% of sales reps say they have too many sales tools. Distraction has reduced sellers’ performance by 14%.
  6. 6. Copyright © 2016 Accenture All rights reserved. Accenture, its logo, and High Performance Delivered are trademarks of Accenture. Many of these investments reflect an obsession with giving sellers more time. But they may have actually hindered sellers’ abilities to build relationships and optimize the customer experience.
  7. 7. Copyright © 2016 Accenture All rights reserved. Accenture, its logo, and High Performance Delivered are trademarks of Accenture. Consider, too, the toll on an organization’s talent readiness. 51% of CSOs are unable to proactively identify sales reps who might benefit from coaching. 57% admit they need to do a better job of hiring reps who succeed.
  8. 8. Copyright © 2016 Accenture All rights reserved. Accenture, its logo, and High Performance Delivered are trademarks of Accenture. Additionally, the increasingly complex selling environment and the growing expectation gap between management and sellers contribute to high sales rep attrition. For many industries including High Tech, one-fifth of the sales force turns over each year. Because reps now have to become familiar with so many processes, tools and data sources, the onboarding process of new hires takes six months. The opportunity costs associated with not having adequate territory coverage because of sales rep rotation or learning “down time” can be huge — as much as 15% of territories and customers may be uncovered at any given time.
  9. 9. Copyright © 2016 Accenture All rights reserved. Accenture, its logo, and High Performance Delivered are trademarks of Accenture. The economic consequences of distraction can also be seen in the phenomenon of customer defection. 64% of customers switched at least one of their providers last year.
  10. 10. Copyright © 2016 Accenture All rights reserved. Accenture, its logo, and High Performance Delivered are trademarks of Accenture. What’s needed is: a laser focus on outcomes a more connected understanding of the customer a contemporary sales operating model that translates predictive insights into winning sales actions
  11. 11. LEARN MORE about how to pivot your sales efforts from productivity to outcomes with our full report: Copyright © 2016 Accenture All rights reserved. Accenture, its logo, and High Performance Delivered are trademarks of Accenture. Selling in the Age of Distraction
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Chief sales officers (CSOs) have spent billions on tools to improve sales performance. Yet, sales productivity has declined over the past five years. We believe an inability to focus is largely to blame. Sales agents, sales leaders and customers now contend with different and growing sources of distraction. Too much information, too many choices, competing sales imperatives, and too many tools, processes and policies are taking their toll. By applying actionable insights and outcome selling techniques, CSOs can help cut through the noise and, in the process, shape sellers’ behaviors, as well as the outcomes customers demand and deserve.

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