The key factors driving sales effectiveness
According to a recent CSO Insights 2011 Sales Effectiveness Review, by Barry Trailer and Jim Dickie, the current top-three annual sales objectives are:
- Increase Revenues
- Capture New Accounts
- Increase Sales Effectiveness
No big surprises with the first two. As far as I know, every VP of Sales in the world wants to increase revenues, primarily because if they don’t they won’t be in that position for very long! Capturing new accounts is also important since that is the foundation of business expansion and because there is only so much revenue you can squeeze out of an existing account before the well starts to run dry.
However, it was interesting to see Jim and Barry emphasizing the importance of increasing sales effectiveness, claiming that if you can positively impact this area, it will help you achieve the first two sales objectives!
Increasing sales effectiveness – most likely through improved sales intelligence – is a more difficult objective to define and measure than simply increasing revenues or landing new business since it often involves responding to and resolving a set of unique internal challenges and demands. For example, the ability to more accurately identify the most likely purchaser of a product is a business pressure that can be eased or resolved through greater sales intelligence. The same holds true for such challenges as shortening the sales cycle, better understanding the unique problems and issues facing your customers, and penetrating deeper into existing accounts.
This is a rather verbose way of saying that if you want to achieve sales objectives 1 & 2, you’d better start paying attention to sales objective number 3.