Trade Promotion Management News

What keeps sales managers awake at night?

sleeplessResearch firm Frost & Sullivan says the two key issues facing sales executives are embedding a deep understanding of the customer within the sales process, and improving productivity.

According to F&S “Sales leaders must improve their ability to align the sales process with customer behaviour, identify the highest-value activities and invest in incentive and training programs to maximise reps’ performance.”

The findings come from its 2013 Global Sales Leadership study for which it canvassed the views of over 300 sales executives at manager level and above in a bid to “understand the most pressing challenges shaping sales executives’ 2013 planning.” The 305 respondents were spread fairly evenly across the globe, across industry verticals and across company size. Most (65 percent) came from B to B companies and the majority (54 percent) from private companies.

F&S identified the top five sales leadership challenges as being:

  • aligning the sales process with customers’ decision-making behaviour;
  • recruiting and training high-quality sales reps;
  • enhancing sales reps’ productivity by focussing on the highest value activities;
  • identifying and responding to customers’ changing needs and providing effective training or coaching programs.

Yet the survey found the amount of money spent on initiatives that might improve the sales process accounted for only a small fraction of sales budgets.

Training and coaching was four percent of total expenditure, sales force automation/CRM three percent, other sales productivity and enablement tools one percent and sales analytics one percent. Staff costs, incentives and travel expenses soaked up over 70 percent of budgets, on average.

F&S found also that companies conduct most of their sales training in-house. In-house training and certification accounted for 50 percent of the training budget, external 20 percent and ongoing mentoring and coaching 20 percent (these figures were averaged across B to B and B to C companies so do not add up to 100 percent.)

Interestingly, although lack of funding was seen as the primary obstacle to effective sales training (40 percent of respondents), low quality training programs were cited by 32 percent as the primary obstacle and inadequate senior level buy-in by 23 percent.

The research was conducted under F&S’s Growth Team Membership research and consulting program that aims to support executives within the functions that report to the CEO. According to F&S, the program “provides best practices, events and services that enable executives to address the challenges within their companies: to speed the design and implementation of initiatives by not re-inventing the wheel; to save money and reduce risk by avoiding mistakes made by other companies, to accelerate problem-solving with a cross-industry perspective and improve their functions and their companies’ performance and productivity.”

SalesAtWork

SalesAtWork embodies all the necessary features required to deliver industry 'best sales practise', SalesAtWork sets the standard to allow different industries to consistently focus on, evolve and improve sales processes.

To find out more about SalesAtWork mobile sales force management and trade promotions management solution www.salesatwork.com

About SalesAtWork

SalesAtWork embodies all the necessary features required to deliver industry 'best sales practise', SalesAtWork sets the standard to allow different industries to consistently focus on, evolve and improve sales processes.

To find out more about SalesAtWork mobile sales force management and trade promotions managment solution www.salesatwork.com

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