Worth the Read: Improving Sales Performance

Originally Posted on May 16, 2013 on the Force Management blog.

Improving Sales Performance

If you want to improve your sales performance and increase your revenue, there are a lot of experts out there that will tell you how to do it.  If you Google “sales analysts,” you’ll be flooded with insights and white papers. There’s a lot of noise out there in this arena. Today, I’m breaking through the clutter and sharing some of the recent insight that caught my attention in my own RSS feeds.

I disagree with some of the points. Others I think are right on target.

What do you think?  Share your thoughts below.

How to Run a Planning Session to Win a Critical Sales Opportunity

Pursuing must-win deals without a process is “malpractice” according to Dave Stein. I couldn’t have said it better myself.  If you don’t have the right processes in place your must-win deals may as well be guaranteed losers. Dave does a great job breaking down the three processes in play for these critical deals. If you want to win the end-game, you need to execute the playbook. A repeatable process behind your sales planning will help you win the must-win deals.

20 Facts about Sales Performance

This is a cringe-worthy list of 20 statistics that strike a chord for most sales leaders. I had to call this one out — 39% of sales professionals say they are unable to effectively uncover customer problems.  Sorry, but those 39% are not sales professionals, but sales amateurs. They need a good value/outcome-based methodology to use, and they need to practice more, like real professionals.

Sales Performance Optimization 2013: Aligning the Right People, Processes, and Tools

Research firm Aberdeen is now allowing full, free, access to 3 years’ worth of research briefs in their Vault.  There are dozens of great pieces of content in the Vault that are worth a read.Register here

Their latest research shows that best-in-class firms are more likely to have developed their sales process with external help. I would caution against taking that too far and passing the buck to outside consultants.  At Force Management, we believe that we can really help clients create a better sales process, but only if the client “participates in their own rescue.”  We call our work “by you, for you,” because our clients really do take ownership during the development and roll-out of their new processes.

Part of creating that sales transformation is defining the competencies for each sales role. I’m somewhat surprised that 71% of firms say they have defined competencies.  Based on personal experience, I think the reality is lower in “the real world.”

8 Steps to Effective Sales Methodology Implementation

In this blog, Donal provides a solid list of critical success factors for implementing a sales methodology. I think a lot of these are on target. However, I would caution against taking #4 too literally. “Fully” integrating your sales methodology into your CRM may work against you and hurt adoption of the methodology. (Running counter to his #3 step – Adoption Rate & Ease of Use)As Force Management has seen countless times in our ten years, sales process and methodology need to be kept “sales consumable.”  Sometimes that means only integrating two areas from your methodology with your CRM and not 22.


Tom Martin, Executive Director of Operations

Tom Martin is a 20+ year veteran of the sales methodology and training industry. He has a diverse set of global experience with sales (direct, indirect and inside), channel management, marketing, SFA/CRM, consulting, finance, legal, training, systems and operations. He serves as Force Management’s Executive Director of Operations