Today we have a guest post from Jim Dickie. Jim is the Managing Partner of CSO Insights, a research firm that specializes in benchmarking how companies are leveraging people, process and technology to optimize the way they market to, sell to and service customers. He has over 29 years of sales and marketing management experience. Jim is also a contributing editor for CRM Magazine, CustomerThink and SoftwareMag.com; a contributing author for the Harvard Business Review; and the author of The Chief Sales Officers Guide to CRM, Insights into High Tech Sales and Marketing and the co-author of The Sales & Marketing Excellence Challenge and The Information Technology Challenge.
The last quarter of the year: the time when sales management teams start to make the shift from “What will the final revenue number be for this year?”, to “What should the revenue target be for next year?” A lot of thought goes into the process of creating the sales objective for the coming year, as sales negotiates that number with the CEO, CFO and sometimes even the board. Let me make two observations about what is going on right now.
- Revenue expectations will be higher for the vast majority of companies in 2013. How do I know that? Because they always are. In the 19 years CSO Insights has been conducting our annual Sales Performance Optimization (SPO) study, the lowest percentage of firms telling us they were raising sales targets, on a year-to-year basis, was 88 percent. This year the number is tracking at 93 percent based on a preliminary analysis of the current survey data.
- While a great deal of time is being invested to determine that exact number, far less amount of time is being spent figuring how sales teams will hit these higher targets. Far too often, when salespeople get their new, higher quota on January 3 and ask how they are expected to achieve those goals, the response they will get is, “I am sure you will make it happen.”
To help do some of the legwork required to come up with strategies and tactics to help salespeople increase their efficiency and effectiveness, we wrote a paper on how to leverage people, process, technology and knowledge to optimize sales performance. It is titled: Why Web Conferencing Is the Key to Closing More Deals.
Over the last five years, web conferencing has become a necessary sales tool. As we tracked this trend over the last half-decade, we’ve seen a steady rise in usage and impressive results. The fact is, connecting with people in a meaningful way is key to closing deals, and online meetings let you do so with more people each day than you could get to in-person.
For an overview of how sales organizations are using online collaboration to enhance how they engage with customers and prospects, download the white paper below. The paper also examines how sales reps and managers can use these solutions to improve internal collaboration. We encourage sales management to review this analysis – and the others that follow – to get straight-forward ideas on how they can help reps hit the targets so that selling in 2013 is done as effectively as possible.
Download the white paper: http://www.slideshare.net/slideshow/embed_code/15090360
Photo credit: yoursecretadmiral