Sales Strategy and Sales Effectiveness Self Assessment: What Have We Learned?
It has been several months since I made available a self assessment for B2B sales strategies and sales effectiveness.
I really encourage you to try the test. It is fast, insightful and does not cost anyone. You can take the survey here: SURVEY
If you do so, I will also send back a scorecard showing how you compare against what I consider to be “what good looks like”.
There have been enough responses to date where I have been able to begin to look for trends.
Here are a few that jumped out:
Generally, respondents are not happy with their top line growth!
The majority of respondents put themselves somewhere between indifferent and disappointed. What a sad place to be in.
Even more remarkable is how few are interested in acting on this!
Pretty much all respondents were extremely unhappy with the number of new customers being signed.
Dissatisfaction is not a surprise.
Most sales representatives prefer to be in a farmer or custodial persona.
Prospecting, lead generation and new business development is extremely difficult work. If marketing is not filling the pipeline with prospects and sales representatives do not like that heavy lifting, is it any surprise that it is not getting done? I have written about this in this past blog article: BLOG
About 75% of the respondents have no sales process. (Or maybe were not clear on what this is.)
A sales process is the map that a prospect travels through your organization and processes towards becoming a customer. What are the steps? Where does this break down and prevent them from being a customer? How does the rest of the organization support the selling effort if they do not know what the process looks like?
I have blogged on this in the past. The blog article can be found here: BLOG
While most respondents have a CRM (Customer Relationship Management Tool), the majority do not use it on a regular basis.
A CRM is an expensive tool and it is a considerable waste of money if not used.
Implementation of the strategy and regular use around a CRM is extremely important; it should be something that is constant, driven by example and reflect an all in commitment from all levels of management.
The simplest engagement is a cadence around pipeline reviews that goes up a number of levels – the sales rep have their list of top opportunities and activity against them should be reviewed on a regular basis with their supervisor, then the sales manager should have their own list of top opportunities (from across their spectrum of reps) that they are accountable for ensuring regular activity and engagement and they in turn review these with their manager and the senior leader of the business should have their own personal list of accounts (the biggest potential wins for the organization) so they can monitor progress against these and also lean in with additional resources if necessary to ensure the win.
Well more than half the respondents have a sales manager that manages their own customers.
In theory, the sales manager may be a very good seller. If their best value is the personal production that they can drive then perhaps they are better off in a sales role.
My point of view is that a sales manager has important responsibilities in terms of managing their sales team’s performance (via CRM and other performance systems) and development (through training, coaching and joint field work) as well as having accountabilities to the broader organization.
A fully engaged and committed sales manager has no time to manage their own book of business. With all of their other commitments and responsibilities they are also not a great form of support for their personal customers.
Little less than half of the respondents have inside sales reps.
Customers have changed. Particularly how they want to engage with sales organizations.
For a period of time throughout the pandemic, we all became inside sales people. The realization for customers became that it was much more time efficient to do self service online options or to deal with an inside sales representative who had all of their company’s resources at their fingertips.
I strongly urge organizations to look to do more with inside sales. For more on this topic, you can read this previous blog article here: BLOG
How do you measure up?
Does any of this resonate with you?
Have you taken the assessment? It is free, it is fast and it is insightful!
If there is anything you wish to explore or discuss, please book a free half hour session with me: