Nov 012012

Building sustainable sales performance, or as it is evolving “revenue performance”, is harder than ever thanks to the developments of technology and social media. Whether we like it or not, buyers have altered the way we sell forever. Yet many businesses are waking up to the fact their selling cycle needs to align with the buyer cycle. Change is needed to remain viable.

The most difficult part of change management isn’t coming up with new great ideas — it’s getting people to change their behaviours. How can sales leaders manage the people side of change to achieve the required business outcomes?

Most changes that impact the sales organisation involve modifications to processes (e.g., the sales process), documents (e.g., order entry forms), skills (e.g. sales training) and roles and responsibilities (who does what during the post-sale implementation).

If the sales team are needing to change then surely the business will support and change with them, right? Wrong! (most of the time anyway). Organisations around the world continue to wrestle with making sales performance more effective and efficient. And whilst that will be a key focus, smart organisations are grasping the opportunity to align their entire revenue functions to the buyer cycle… with startling results.

Learn more by watching our presentation titled “3 Secrets to improve Revenue Performance” 

Oct 012012

Before you reinvest in sales training, pause for a moment. What type of sales training do you need, who needs it and how will it be reinforced? Hang on… who said the root cause to fixing poor revenue performance was to invest in sales training!?

Are you about to reload and commit your resources to something that hasn’t worked… again? After all, if you keep doing what you’ve been doing, you’ll keep getting what you’ve been getting.

Sales training attracts hundreds of millions of dollars yet is having no measureable effect on improving revenue performance and it’s something the training companies are shy about. There’s nothing wrong with the training they offer, in fact it is an important CORE need to improving revenue performance.

All we’re saying is that the problem isn’t with the training.  The problem is much deeper and broader and raises questions into what is being done to create revenue.

Despite increasing spend on sales training and CRM systems, sales pipeline conversion rates continue to decline with nearly 1 in 2 sales reps missing sales targets. Vendors play a huge part here, whether a CRM vendor, Sales Training vendor or a marketing services provider. All have their specialty yet only remain focused on offering their “pre-packaged” notions to fix poor revenue; notions which in fact bare little if any resemblance to the way in which customers want to be engaged – or want to buy.

According to the Corporate Executive Board (“CEB”) nearly 60% of the typical purchasing decision was being made before engaging directly with a supplier. “Pre-packaged” notions also assume that one size fits all when it comes to improving revenue – an ignorant and bias assertion, and one that nearly every vendor practices. Sales Training programs are built on this.

Managing revenue performance is an end-to-end process, which needs the alignment of your CORE drivers including CRM and the skills of your sales teams to your customers and how they buy – as opposed to how you want to sell? Yet many sales people will apply the traditional ‘solution selling’ skills and find themselves out of their depth. Customers know much more about your product/solution and have in fact compared it to your key competitors already.  This leaves sales people with little to offer and end up selling based on price.

Unfortunately talented sales people continue to be shown the door when the root causes of their under-performance was in fact out of their control. There are some great sales people significantly under performing, and some very average sales people generating great revenue.  Data and analytics will help confirm the selling performance against potential.

If your process is not known or correct – how do you know if you are cutting a good sales person or that investing in sales training will help performance?

More research by Huthwaite shared that within a month of training, 87% of sales skills knowledge is lost.  Another, reminder that Sales training may not be the answer to poor sales results.

Poor revenue performance may need sales training, as part of the review and build of a Revenue Engine®. Pinpointing the blind-spots to poor revenue performance will finds the gaps and sales skills will be involved, the timing and type of sales training is the key. Before you invest in Sales Training, it makes sense to take the time to;

  1. Know what to fix, first
  2. Know why
  3. Know who

Bringing all this together can appear complicated, but experts can make that simple. We call bringing all this together “building a Revenue Engine®” Learn more about “what is a Revenue Engine®”  here