What are 2009's Sales Best Practices?

Posted by Bob Apollo on Mon 9-Feb-2009

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CSO Insight’s annual sales performance optimisation survey is one of the most eagerly awaited and widest-read reports each year.  Now in its’ 15th year of publication, the 2009 results have just been published, and reflect feedback from more than 1,800 organisations around the world.  The effects of the current recession are already visible.

It’s probably no surprise that the top 3 objectives of sales leaders are to increase revenues, sales effectiveness and market share.  But as Jim Dickie and Barry Trailer, co-authors of the report point out, these goals are unlikely to be achieved simply by selling harder; sales organisations need to find ways of selling smarter.

The report highlights the significant differences in performance that exist between companies that have embraced best practice and the rest, and provides clear indicators to organisations who are committed to improve their sales effectiveness as to where they ought to be focusing their energies.

I’d like to highlight a few areas where some of the most significant gains can be achieved...

Prioritising Deals

CSO Insights point out that more than 50% of the vendors surveyed acknowledged that their ability to qualify and prioritise accounts “needed improvement”.  We have found that prospect profiling and scoring can make a huge difference to success rates - and CSO insights calculate the difference between best and worst practice can amount to a 46% difference in forecast accuracy!

Understanding the Buying Process

More than 40% of the vendors surveyed agreed that their ability to understand and facilitate their prospect’s buying process needed improvement- but vendors who managed to master this were at least 14% better than their peers in accurately forecasting the outcome of deals.

Implementing a Consistent Sales Methodology

This is an area in which some of the most significant gains can be achieved.  Best-in-class organisations who implemented a consistent sales methodology showed a 35% improvement over their also-ran peers in accurately forecasting the outcome of deals.

These are all areas that lend themselves to an evidence-driven approach - and we’re pleased to see the benefits so clearly demonstrated.  Contact Us if you would like to understand how we might be able to help you achieve the same.