Sustained Success in sales comes by design, not chance
Sales are under pressure
Acquiring customers is the engine of all companies. Customers bring revenue which generates jobs, investments and shareholder value.
Each departement has a role towards customers, but finding and winning customers remains, in essence, the responsibility of the sales team.
Sales remains a problem child for many CEO’s.
In these competitive times, despite large investments in technology, training and recruitment, the percentage of sales people attaining their objectives remains too low.
Good to know
- 40% of all sales people miss their yearly objectives
- Less than half of all sales forecasts are accurate
- Almost 50% of all companies don’t have a well defined sales process
- A good alignment of sales and marketing increases sales by 15%
- 15% more sales people achieve their objective if sales have influence on the company strategy
Systemic sales increases sales productivity significantly, through structural improvements which impact the whole operation, not just an individual salesman’s performance.
Clear communication on the methods, processes and execution and total focus on all activities under direct control of the sales team and with an influence on the sales result.
Too many sales teams mistakenly believe they influence results through “pipeline” management.
They only have direct influence on their own actions, not the actions of the customer.
There is no “sales cycle”. Customers follow a “buying cycle“.
As a sales team you need to know where your customer is, in the buy cycle, and adapt your actions to that.
Evolution in 3 steps
You can easily recognize a sales organisation in this phase:
- There are no real processes present, or even an agreed way of working
- No way of working is documented
- Each action is taken “ad hoc”. Every thing is driven by the short term. Little or no planning
- Knowledge and experience which is acquired, is not maintained or shared
This is comparable with a group (not a team) of individual players, without a coach.
The “individual” phase, is where most companies get stuck.
Sales is considered to be an individual activity, with sales people as “solo” players.
- Processes are not complete, not mature and in most cases, not documented
- Limited resources. Most actions are based on the individual talent of sales people
- Knowledge present but only with individual experts or top performers
- Best practices are not shared in this group of solo players
This is best compared with a group (not a team) of individual players, loosely coached, focused on individual performance.
the third phase should really be the main objective of each sales organisation:
- Processes are mature, documented and known
- All necessary resources are used
- There is a pro-active, successful method of working, applied by everyone
- All knowledge is maintained centrally and shared
- A systematic focus on actions under direct control
This is a real, successful team of players, with strong coaching.