I read this report and wanted to share with you some key results from a recent Miller Heiman study that included over 3900 executives from top organizations. What jumped out at me was the difference between average and outstanding sales organizations.
Characteristics of World class organizations that make them different than others:
- high degree of alignment between sales marketing and customer needs (trending up for the last 3 yrs)
- standardized processes for qualifying and selling
- formal strategy for getting concessions in return for price reductions
- clear understanding of client issues prior to offering proposals
- cross department collaboration to manage strategic accounts
- joint long-term planning with key customer
- knowledge of why top performers are successful and structured programs to share that insight across the team
- sales metrics are aligned with business objectives
- CRM systems geared to greatly improve effectiveness of the sales organization
- organization is highly structured to learn and adapt.
As you go through this list take an objective look at your organization because this is a road map to growth. If you answer 'no' to any of these then sit down with your executive team and create a plan. Insure you have a solid sales management process in place that includes recruiting good talent (with a compensation plan that fuels winners); establishing expectations (setting the bar high); training & coaching to those expectations (you can't manage a sales force from behind a desk); feedback & course correction (in real time); and measurable accountability (if you can't measure it you can't coach it.)