Customer Experience News & Trends

3 best practices your sales force needs in 2012

If “increase sales” occupies a spot on your organization’s 2012 to-do list, there’s brand new information you need to know about.

The folks at the Aberdeen Group just researched the most critical sales processes necessary to survive – and even thrive – in an uncertain economy. And we’re close enough to know 2012 promises to bring just as much, if not more, uncertainty.

That’s why now’s the time to sit down with your sales management team to ensure it’s embracing the three elements of a successful sales program.

We’ll give you a sneak preview of how it will likely go, based on Aberdeen’s findings:

You probably already have … a formal sales process

Even two-thirds (67%) of so-called “laggard” companies have a defined and repeatable formula they rely upon to bring in sales. While each organization will have its own formula for sales success, there are certain must-includes for everyone. A few examples: mapping sales strategies to your customers’ buying processes and having clear exit criteria at each stage of the process.

But you might not be … assessing your salesforce’s competencies (and their deficiencies)

Just over half (60%) of best-in-class companies and a mere 37% of lowest performers are taking the time to step back and look closely at what their staffers are good (and not so good) at. Sales managers should regularly be looking for gaps in their staffers’ skill sets. There are any number of benefits that practice can have, from helping folks map out their career paths to ensuring your company has properly aligned sales territories.

And you probably aren’t … training the trainers

Never mind the laggards! They’re way out of this one. In fact, only 38% of middle-of-the-pack companies take this approach to training. The best practice: Educate sales managers and entrust them with teaching their charges. For one, that gives you the best bang for your buck. It’s also the best way to ensure all that training is reinforced and sticks.

The Aberdeen report is entitled, “Sales Training 2011: Uncovering How the Best-in-Class Sustain, Reinforce and Leverage Best Selling Practices.” 

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