The research into sales performance is pretty clear: there are some sales organizations who significantly outperform the average on critical metrics like sales growth, account retention, forecast accuracy, quota attainment, opportunity growth and account growth. CSO Insights refers to these exemplary performers as World-Class Sales organizations.

We all want these outcomes; the key is knowing what these organizations do to achieve them. Luckily, the research is pretty clear on the behaviors that separate world-class from average performers.   Rather than giving you the formal research results (which I’m happy to send you; message me and ask), here is a description of what it looks and feels like to work in a high-performing sales organization.

Managing opportunities in the sales funnel:

  • Troubled deals are identified early using metrics which identify what’s wrong and what to do about it
  • There are clear, widely understood signals for deals which should be de-resourced.
  • There are clear, widely understood signals for when deals need extra effort, and efficient systems for marshaling the appropriate resources
  • Sales people can team on deals effectively
  • New hire time to productivity is rapid, and there are clear, individualized feedback systems.

Management Cadence

  • Regularly conducted reviews focus mostly on deals which need attention.
  • Common language and methodology allow exchange of more info about deals in less time/
  • Managers know how to provide targeted coaching needed for each deal
  • Maagers don’t need to jump in to save deals very often. Instead, they identify and develop best practices , enabling people to save their own deals.
  • Ride-alongs are coaching, not sales manager as hero exercises.
  • Sales people get personalized coaching and development
  • Hi potential sales people (with leadership skills) identified and given growth opportunities
  • Low performers have clear line of sight to what’s wrong, and how to fix it.

Key Account relationships

  • There is a proactive Key account philosophy that focuses on adding customer value.
  • There is a clear definition for what is a key account
  • There are clear metrics for growing and deepening key account relationships,
  • Key account planning is a corporate strategic process with executive engageent, not just a sales process

Sales Enablement & Organizational Impacts

  • Forecasts are more accurate
  • Sales has high credibility with the rest of the organization
  • Sales Operations is a resource to sales, and is seen as helping them be more successful
  • Discounting is done sparingly and objectively…even top management knows why
  • Product and tech people dovetail into the sales process smoothly
  • The right people are in the right sales roles, and sales management knows why.
  • There is a solid career progression available; a promotion path with tools to help people succeed at each step

How does this sound to you? Where is it different from your sales organization, and where is it the same? Share your thoughts below, or contact me to discuss how world-class Organizations become world-class.

To Your Success!

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