Good morning! looks like a great Friday coming into a sunny weekend!
A couple of years ago, we drilled down into actually studying the data behind the problem of the lack of improvement in productivity on the part of B2B salespeople, and along the way, we came up with a number of sales factoids:
- U.S. businesses spend $800B annually on sales force compensation
- We then spend another $20B on sales training; 34% of that on skills training
- 50% of that knowledge is lost 35 days following a training session.
- 84% is lost after just 90 days. Reason being-no reinforcement, no coaching
- It takes the average new salesperson a minimum of 7 months to ramp up
- It’s 18 months for tech, industrial equipment and medtech products
- Losing a good salesperson costs $1m in expense and lost opportunity
- 43% to 55% of sales reps miss their quota every year
- 64% of a salesperson’s time is spent on non-selling service/admin activities
We’re holding our annual spring CEO dinner in two weeks, and when we queried that team last year at this time regarding their observations for their salespeople, their responses are outlined to the left. This year, a key theme over dinner will be what are the best 2020 practices for recruiting, hiring, onboarding and retaining. Bottom line of this chart and everything we’ve seen in studying the science of sales especially over the past five years keeps coming back to the screaming urgent need to immediately ramp up the productivity of our sales teams.
In this highly competitive environment for solid talent, the premium on finding, training, motivating, and retaining star salespeople has never been higher, but that's only half of the requirement. The more important half is then getting everyone on the team trained, coached and totally fluent with the....
- the same marketing & sales processes,
- the same language and tools which plug into the steps in those processes,
- the same high fluency in the use of the technology platforms,
- and the same culture of finding, onboarding & developing people.
We’ve been selling on the street, on the phones and in venture board rooms for 30 years, while at the same time using our teaching skills honed at Tufts and MIT to take the old-fashioned "art of selling" kick open the door into to the implementation of "the science of sales productivity". Now, with hundreds of successful company examples, we know what works.
We also know the failure points leading to low productivity:
- Failure to require and implement a disciplined sales process as “the only way”
- Failure to build real-life sales knowledge through real-life education and executable training
- Failure to hire correctly through detailed profiles, testing, and attribute assessments
- Failure to deliver training that actively engages people and scores with peer-to-peer learning
- Failure to dynamically reinforce consistent training through interactive coaching.
If it's time for a change in how to break through low sales productivity, the time is now before the beginning of Q2, which is always the most critical quarter of the year since anything that occurs then will have significant impact in Q3 and especially in Q4. An important opportunity to explore the sales planning tactic in great depth is to work with us and 25 other sales management leaders for an intense, hands-on day on April 9th focused to develop real-world solutions to dramatically increase your salesforce productivity by 25% this year. Yep! 25%!
Have a great day today and a superb weekend!