2015 is well under way, and there’s no better time to step back and review your company’s sales organization. Anaplan Director of Product Marketing, Sales, Kevin Gray joined OpenSymmetry’s SVP Marketing and Customer Success, Laura Roach, and EMEA Strategy Services, Jon Clark, for a webinar that explored best practices that can take your sales planning to the next level. Their tips included:
Retain your top talent
OpenSymmetry’s Roach shared that according to the BMS Quarterly Sales Index1, 56% of sales leaders report that retaining good performers will be a big problem for them in the coming year. The top reason for losing sales talent isn’t consistent across companies, which makes it difficult to define. Two of the main reasons why top talent leaves a company include the current employer’s inability to meet salary expectations or receiving a better offer from another company. To combat this, sales leaders often rely on quick fixes rather than addressing the root of the problem. Roach noted that more than 1/3 of sales leaders say they increase salaries to retain their best people. While that may work in the short term, companies need to dig deeper and fix the true causes of attrition.
Gain a clear line of sight
To have a competitive edge, sales leaders need to have clear line of sight into what is driving sales rep behaviors. In many companies, sales reps find more and more of their time being spent on administrative tasks. Roach stated that 65% of sales leaders report that spending too much time on non-selling activities is a top business issue for sales in the coming year. On the other hand, when companies invest in best-in-class sales performance management solutions, they experience 25% lower turnover rates, 36% shorter sales cycles, and 7% more sales reps making their quota.
Make positive changes
Clark from Open Symmetry stated that nearly 70% of businesses fail to deliver on the change efforts they outline. But don’t let this daunting statistic prevent you from making necessary changes to your sales organization. Avoid failure by assessing your business’ change challenges, and roadblocks that can prevent your business from meeting its goals. These challenges can include a lack of resources or planning, resistance from employees, misalignment by middle management, and ineffective leadership. Roach added that effective change management can be achieved by addressing any change challenges you’ve identified, along with assessing the impact on any stakeholders involved.
For more sales planning best practices, watch the webinar on-demand.
1. “Sales teams facing a world of change.” BMS Quarterly Sales Index. April 2014. http://www.bms-uk.com/images/pdf/quarterly-sales-index-q1-2014.pdf. Accessed May 21, 2015.