Magazine article CRM Magazine

Sales Success Needs More of a CRM Focus: Salespeople Frequently Miss Targets, Which Could Require a CRM Reset

Magazine article CRM Magazine

Sales Success Needs More of a CRM Focus: Salespeople Frequently Miss Targets, Which Could Require a CRM Reset

Article excerpt

The percentage of salespeople making quota has dropped from 63 percent to 53 percent between 2012 to 2016, largely because companies have not taken the proper steps to address customer complexity, according to a report from CSO Insights.

Customer complexity, the report points out, is not a new trend, but organizations' recent initiatives to try to overcome it clearly are just not working.

"Buying organizations are changing faster than selling organizations," says Seleste Lunsford, senior director at CSO Insights. "If you think about a typical buyer or customer, they're so influenced by their life as a consumer, and those expectations bleed over into the B2B side of what they purchase as well."

Sales organizations haven't kept up because leadership at many companies is often afraid to mess with the sales organization because it's customer-facing and the perceived risk is so high, the report concludes.

That's not to say that change isn't happening on the sales side--"it's just not as fast as it's happening on the customer side," Lunsford says.

The report indicates that customer relationships and sales processes are interrelated when it comes to sales success. The different levels of customer relationships include, in ascending order, "approved vendor," "preferred supplier," "solutions consultant," "strategic contributor," and "trusted partner." For sales processes, the hierarchy goes, in ascending order, from "random process," to "informal process," to "formal process," and ultimately to "dynamic process."

In CSO's rankings, most companies (48.4 percent) fell in the middle of these hierarchies, somewhere between being approved vendors with random processes and trusted partners with dynamic processes.

The report identifies 12 practices--six for customer relationships and six for sales processes--that correlate with sales success. …

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