In 1997-98, Partners In
EXCELLENCE conducted a study of personal sales effectiveness for a major
technology company. The study included surveys and interviews of
hundreds of sales professionals, managers and executives. In the
Spring of 2003, the study was updated with the addition of results from
hundreds more sales professionals, managers and executives.
The results of this
research have been revalidated with over 300 Sales Executives since its
Among the "public" observations and
conclusions reached in the study were the following:
Sales effectiveness increased
dramatically when the customer buying processes and the selling
processes were aligned. For
every phase the sales person is out of alignment with the customerís
buying cycle, the probability of winning decreased 10-15%.
A majority of sales people make at least
twice as many calls through the selling process as were required. The
primary reasons for their ineffectiveness were: 1) Poor preparation and
planning for the call, and 2) Poor goal setting for each call.
viewed as a management reporting process, not a tool to manage the sales
process and personal effectiveness. Sales people view this as
"non-productive" work or a vehicle for management to "beat them up."
Consequently, they tend to game the process, creating ineffective
inconsistent measurements create inconsistent messages driving the wrong
behavior in the sales people.
opportunities tend to be disqualified later in the sales cycle than
desired. Management pressure and certain measurement systems make
it "better to lose a bad deal" than to have too few deals in the
tend to confuse account profiling with account planning. Many
account plans represent detailed profiles combined with long task lists.
Few tools, data resources, and skills in place to develop strong
assessments of account opportunity, share of account and growth plans
exist. The exception to this is in some consumer package goods
sales organizations which tend to have rich tools and analysis to
support account development plans.
continue to have difficulty in articulating their customer's decision
making processes and adjusting their sales strategies to address these
decisionmaking processes effectively.
talk about "Value Based Selling," but continue to have great difficulty
in executing true value based selling. Selling still tends to be
product, feature, function, and benefit oriented. Simplified ROI
based on product, features and benefits is done, but true business value
analysis is weak. Creating value out of intangibles is even more
management is somewhat of a challenge, with the appearance of activity
being thought to be more important than effectiveness and efficiency.
experienced sales people, basic selling skills and fundamentals were
very strong. The sales people interviewed tend to be among the
"best in class." They tended to be very sharp and fast, creating
more of a reactive than proactive orientation.
summary of the public portions of this study and recommendations for
potential solutions can be obtained from Partners In EXCELLENCE at no
charge by completing the following:
Thank you for
your request for this report, we will send it to you as soon as
possible. Incomplete information on the form may impact our
ability to send the information. Please make sure you include all
Selling In Turbulent Times: A survey conducted for Accenture
in March 2003 of 178 sales executives for global companies. A key
conclusion is the one cited in the title of this page "Poor Sales At
Global Companies Reflect Ineffective Practices More Than Weak Economy.
The survey present interesting information on what companies focus on to
generate sales, opinions about sales force performance, challenges, and
other issues. The full PDF of the report can be downloaded from
the site. Click on the link to download the report.
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June 09, 2009.
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