We recently had a visit from the American research bureau, CSO Insights. This company develops benchmarks for how best to utilize employees, processes and technology to optimize sales. It surveys over 1500 organizations all over the world every year to support this development.
The survey repeatedly concludes that companies with formalized sales processes work their way up to being a strategic adviser far more than companies that adopt a more ad hoc approach to sales. Best-in-class companies also ensure that these processes are flexible. If these results don’t sound valuable to you, then you must be one of the 33% of large companies that already use a formalized and flexible sales process.
A company with processes such as these is constantly monitoring how its salespeople are using them. They receive feedback so the processes themselves are adapted when there are radical changes in the market: new competitors, altered legislation, changing economic climates, and so on.
Well-organized for better results
It’s easy to predict that well-organized companies will achieve better results. The differences are very evident. Well-organized companies score better in all areas: more sales people achieve their targets, better execution of the sales plan, more deals are won, fewer customers delay projects, and a much lower churn rate.
This last point speaks for itself, as CSO Insights agrees: where would you prefer to work? In an organization where leads have a much greater chance of success, or where you have to be satisfied with a lower success rate? For an organization that always have to fight for attention, or for a company that customers consider to be a valued adviser?
This becomes even more important the more the market picks up, warns CSO Insights: sales people that can rely on a reliable team, tried and tested processes, and who feel certain they will be well received by the customer are much less likely to respond to a telephone call from a headhunter.
Fortunately, it’s never too late to climb to a higher level. CSO Insights gave the example of Fairchild Semiconductor, who in the space of just one year rose to the highest level, and saw its profit margin increase by 7%.