Thursday, 22 June 2017

For top sales force performance, treat your reps like customers

Companies that excel at sales growth are tightly focused on developing the talent they need by understanding how sales reps really work.
With as much as half of a company’s value creation resting with the sales force, sales-team effectiveness is crucial for growth. In fact, our research shows that the sales experience is one of the top drivers in customers’ purchasing decisions. And best practice has revealed that companies focus as much on the rep experience as on the customer experience.

Realizing that value, however, has become a lot harder. The sales landscape is more unpredictable and studded with multiple influencers, channels and buying options. Digitization is changing buyer behaviors and leading to more complex sales activities. Guiding decision makers through all the nuances and considerations requires sellers to demonstrate deep subject-matter expertise and the ability to quickly customize a message to each customer.

These challenges call for a new set of sales skills, training, and tools. Companies are having trouble filling that void, however, because many of them lack the means to identify and cultivate the skills they need. Performance can vary by as much as six to seven times between top- and bottom-tier sellers, yet few organizations have metrics that show why. As a result, hiring choices are often based on gut feelings, while development and training often default to methods that have been in place for years.

To better understand how the best sales leaders manage talent, we developed a “sales DNA” tool. It tracks and analyzes the talent-management practices of more than 100 sales organizations as well as the traits and attributes of over 15,000 sales representatives across a range of transactional, consultative, and other sales environments globally. The results reveal that organizations with the fastest growth know who their top performers are—surprisingly, many businesses don’t—and know the personality traits and skills that correspond with success. They’re also far more likely to customize outreach, tools, and techniques to the needs of different teams. In fact, as we analyzed fast-growing organizations, it became clear to us that top-performing sales organizations treat their salespeople like customers.
For rest of article, read HERE.

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