Sales Force Productivity | The Black Box Syndrome
In the search for sales force productivity, and engulfed by conflicting advice and increasing complexity, many organisations end up viewing their sales organisations as a black box; or a mysterious selling machine.
Management operates the machine by tipping money, resources, technology, training, and incentives in one end and waiting and hoping for profitable orders to come out the other end.
And in the quest for even higher sales force productivity, they try to optimise the selling machine by tipping in more resources, while cutting head-count, deploying some software, and sending everybody off to training. All in the hope of even more profitable orders at the other end.
While this may have been sustainable when economic growth was robust and margins weren’t under pressure; those conditions are well gone and a more precise method is now required to diagnose and drive sales force productivity.
Revenue Production Facility | A Superior Perspective on Sales Force Productivity
Rather than a black box, the sales organisation is better viewed as a production facility tasked with manufacturing profitable revenue.
Shapers. Any production facility must have purpose and be designed and built to deliver on that purpose. Furthermore that purpose must be relevant and of value. This lever defines the strategic purpose and size and architecture of the sales organisation. This should not be based on legacy assumptions but on current customer needs and perspectives; sourced through deep customer research and insights.
Energisers. A production facility without energy produces very little. In the same way a sales organisation inadequately energised produces sub-optimal revenue. Leadership, Culture, Teamwork, Equity, and Skills provide the power to drive revenue production.
Enablers. The staff of any production facility must have the right and finest tools to enable their efforts. Clearly the sales organisation will need enablers such as CRM and forecasting tools as well as sales and pricing tools. The priority is not the number of tools but the effectiveness and take-up of the tools.
Enlighteners. Being able to, in real-time, understand how well a production facility is operating and any bottle-necks is the role of the enlighteners. The efficiency and effectiveness of a sales organisation can be gauged and measured through its sales process, the strength and character of its integration with marketing, and the quality and rigour of its management, communication, and coaching processes.
Controllers. Lastly how a production facility is controlled will reinforce all of the above. In particular sales force efficiency, metrics, and compensation need to go beyond legacy approaches and leverage methodologies such as pareto efficiency and conjoint analysis to optimise compensation and incentive packages.
Essentially these levers act as prisms through which the sales organisation can be examined to understand the drivers and bottlenecks of sales force productivity.
SalesAnalytics | Unbiased Comprehensive Validated Advice
In a slowing economy sales managers must not only contend with driving sales force productivity and delivering revenue and profit targets but also with a flood of suggestions and advice from all and sundry.
Unfortunately much of this advice is often biased towards the supplier and constrained by their restricted perspective.
We’ve taken a different approach by reviewing 20 years of academic sales performance literature and in-field case studies to develop SalesAnalytics.
SalesAnalytics is a software-guided interactive workshop.
SalesAnalytics examines the sales organisation through five prisms aligned with the five levers outlined above. Each prism has several perspectives and collectively they map the health of the sales organisation.
Each prism and associated perspective has been researched and validated as having a significant impact on sales force productivity and profitability. Unproven fads, quirky ideas, and low impact initiatives have been disregarded.
The SalesAnalytics workshop explores each prism and perspective from Knowledge Review to Typical Symptoms through to Diagnostic Questions.
At the end of the SalesAnalytics workshop stakeholders will have built an unbiased and comprehensive road map of initiatives to actually drive sales force productivity.
Stakeholders will also have the freedom to action these initiatives themselves and/or partner with us in our areas of capability; or with any other provider as they see fit.
To explore how SalesAnalytics can provide a systematic perspective of the true drivers and bottlenecks within your sales organisation please contact us.