Magazine article CRM Magazine

What's Wrong with Your Sales Process? Narrow the Gap between Goals and Expectations with Agile Selling

Magazine article CRM Magazine

What's Wrong with Your Sales Process? Narrow the Gap between Goals and Expectations with Agile Selling

Article excerpt

IN TODAY'S business environment, enterprise growth is about more than hitting a sales number. It depends on providing a differentiated and consistent customer experience across sales, marketing, and service, as traditional customer acquisition and retention strategies are inadequate for dealing with customers who are constantly moving, always connected, and more informed than ever. An agile selling approach, which takes advantage of all enterprise assets and channels to the customer, will help differentiate the leaders from the laggards.

This is one of the key findings from Accenture's analysis of the Sales Performance Optimization Study, cosponsored with CSO Insights, a research and benchmarking resource for chief sales officers (CSOs). The research surveyed more than 1,200 companies worldwide to assess current sales performance and focuses on the 177 participating companies with at least $1 billion in sales revenue.

Although 75 percent of CSOs are targeting greater than 5 percent revenue growth in 2013, a full 88 percent have concerns about how they will achieve that. Another issue is that only 67 percent of CSOs expect their sales representatives to achieve their full year quota for 2013. Clearly, achieving the desired revenue growth will not be simple.

Accenture asserts that there are five key areas that will require increased focus in the digital front office:

Integrating sales, marketing, and service. Although CSOs indicate they are making progress, their efforts are failing to produce expected results. For example, up to 60 percent still lack a formal definition of qualified leads between sales and marketing. And 82 percent are not using customer service to directly handle cross-selling or upselling.

Improving the customer experience at each touch point Enterprises are more apt to thrive if they provide an optimal customer experience from promises made by marketing, through sales, to service and support. Although CSOs are more confident in their ability to create customer loyalty than they have been in the past, the data shows that nearly 30 percent need to improve when it comes to renewing business with existing customers. Enterprises need to focus on developing strong relationships and cultivating deeper customer loyalty to help reduce churn and support revenue goals. …

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