Making the Number: How to Use Sales Benchmarking to Drive Performance

Front Cover
The essential tool kit to achieve breakthrough sales performance improvements.

Numbers don’t lie: 40 percent of all salespeople miss their targets each year. How can sales managers ensure their teams are doing everything possible? The key lies in benchmarking, which is not new for finance or manufacturing but rarely gets applied to sales. Making the Number will teach executives to embrace data-driven decision making and rely less on gut instinct.

Comparing a sales force to those of relevant peers leads to many opportunities to improve performance. The authors take readers through their five-step methodology for sales benchmarking, showing how to select metrics; gather, compute, and compare internal and external data; and then actually use the data.

Making the Number includes case studies of sales benchmarking in action. For example, find out how Discover Financial Services plays David to the Goliaths of MasterCard and Visa.

Whether you’re a sales rep, a manager, or a CEO, this book will show you a better way to make your number.
 

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Contents

WORLDCLASS IN SALES
WRAPUP
TO REVIEW
THE NEED TO SELFASSESS YOUR SALES FORCE
SIX CATEGORIES OF SALES FORCES
DETERMINING YOUR SALES FORCE CATEGORY
WHAT IS THE VALUE OF KNOWING YOUR SALES FORCE CATEGORY?
USING A METHODOLOGY

NOTE TO CHIEF SALES OFFICERS
FINAL THOUGHTDEATH OF A SALESMAN
GLOBALIZATION
SOURCES OF COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE
WINNING ON PRICE
WINNING WITH FOCUS
WHAT HAPPENED TO PRODUCT QUALITY?
TO REVIEW
SHIFT OF POWER FROM SELLER TO BUYER
STARBUCKS AND WHOLE FOODS
THE LINK BETWEEN CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE AND THE SALES FORCE
TO REVIEW
A STORY OF SALES STRATEGY WITHOUT SUBSTANCE
THE BATTLE OVER SALES STAFF HEADCOUNT
THE CURSE OF CHARISMA
DOES BAD BREATH BEAT NO BREATH?
EMPTY SUITS
TIME FOR A CHANGE?
NUMBERS DONT LIE OR DO THEY?
THE TRICKLEDOWN EFFECT
GARBAGE DATA
TO REVIEW
FEAR OF REPLACEMENT
WHY SHOULD THE BOARD AND THE SHAREHOLDERS CARE ABOUT SALES BENCHMARKING?
A BRIEF REVIEW OF MARKING CAPITALIZATION
HOW DOES SALES BENCHMARKING IMPROVE SHAREHOLDER VALUE?
CONSOLIDATED INCOUR FIRST EXAMPLE OF THE POWER OF SALES BENCHMARKING
REDUCTIONS IN COST OF SALES
PRODUCTIVITY IMPROVEMENTS
REDUCTIONS IN COST OF SALES AND PRODUCTIVITY IMPROVEMENTS
CONCLUSION FOR CONSOLIDATED
WHY SHOULD A CEO EMPLOY SALES BENCHMARKING?
WHY SHOULD THE VICE PRESIDENT OF SALES TRY SALES BENCHMARKING?
THE FIVE OUTCOMES FOR EVERY SALES EXECUTIVE
RECAP
TO REVIEW
A MACRO LOOK AT THE NUMBERS OF SALES PROFESSIONALS
THE COMING SALESRELATED LABOR SHORTAGE
TAKING ADVANTAGE OF THE LABOR SHORTAGE
SALES BENCHMARKING AND ADVANCEMENT
SALES BENCHMARKING FOR THE INDIVIDUAL AT THE CORPORATE LEVEL
WRAPUP
TO REVIEW
BENCHMARKING FOR OTHER BUSINESS FUNCTIONS
WHY IS BENCHMARKING SO POPULAR?
BENCHMARKING WORKSBUT WHY?
CHARACTERISTICS OF ORGANIZATIONAL BENCHMARKING
THE THREE PHASES OF BENCHMARKING
BENCHMARKING FRAMEWORKS
BENCHMARK VERSUS BENCHMARKING
BENCHMARKING + SALES NEW COMBINATION
THE CASE OF SALES HEADCOUNT
AN EXAMPLE DIVERSIFIED LTD
STUCK IN THE STATUS QUO
BENCHMARKING METHODOLOGIES
SALES MANAGEMENT MATURITY MODEL
TO REVIEW
PREREQUISITES FOR SALES BENCHMARKING
SALESBENCHMARKING TAXONOMY
SALESBENCHMARKING REPOSITORY
SALESBENCHMARKING AUTOMATION TECHNOLOGY
SALESBENCHMARKING SUBJECTMATTER EXPERTS
WHAT ORGANIZATIONS ARE LIKELY SPONSORS OF SALESBENCHMARKING INITIATIVES?
A SUMMARY OF SALES BENCHMARKING
TO REVIEW
WHAT IS A BUSINESS PROCESS?
WHAT DOES A PROCESS LOOK LIKE?
POOR PROCESS DESIGN
IMPROVING PROCESSES
WHY HAVE SALES PROCESSES?
WHAT ARE THE COMMON SALES PROCESSES?
SALES METHODOLOGIES
WHICH PROCESSES MATTER?
WHICH SALES METRICS BELONG IN WHICH SALES PROCESSES?
MEASURING PERFORMANCE ACROSS A SALES PROCESS
TO REVIEW
WHAT IS STRATEGIC BENCHMARKING?
WHAT ARE THE FOCUS AREAS OF STRATEGIC BENCHMARKING?
POTENTIAL DRAWBACK TO STRATEGIC BENCHMARKING
SUGGESTED STRATEGIC SALESBENCHMARKING APPROACH
PULLING IT ALL TOGETHER
WRAPUP
THE INTERSECTION OF BEST PRACTICES AND BENCHMARKING
SEVEN LEVELS OF BESTPRACTICES BENCHMARKING
OVERCOMING HURDLES TO BESTPRACTICES BENCHMARKING
CONNECTION BETWEEN BESTPRACTICES BENCHMARKING AND WORLDCLASS STATUS
TO REVIEW
NUMBER 1 OR NUMBER 2 OR GET OUT
DEFINING WHAT IT MEANS TO BE WORLDCLASS
WORLDCLASS FOR A SPECIFIC METRIC
WORLDCLASS OVERALL
WORLDCLASS FOR A PROCESS
EXPLANATION OF THE SALES MANAGEMENT MATURITY MODELS FIVE MATURITY LEVELS
NOW WHAT?
PRODUCTIVITY BENCHMARKING
DEFINE YOUR TERMS
ACME CHOOSES ITS STRATEGIC SALES METRICS
YOUR TURN?
QUALITATIVE AND QUANTITATIVE DATA
STATISTICS 101
INFERENTIAL STATISTICS
GATHERING THE DATA
POPULATIONS VERSUS VALID SAMPLE
SOURCES FOR A VALID SALESBENCHMARKING SAMPLE
ACME COLLECTS ITS DATA
TO REVIEW
ACMES PROGRESS SO FAR
WHAT ACME NEEDS TO KNOW REGARDING STATISTICAL INTERPRETATION
PERCENTILES
SALES BENCHMARKING AND MEASURES OF CENTRAL LOCATION
WHERE IS ACME AT THIS POINT?
CALCULATING THE RETURN
WHAT ACME CAN CONCLUDE FROM SALES DEAL SIZE COMPARISON
DETERMINING ACMES RETURN FROM CLOSING THE GAP
WRAPUP
DOCTORS VISITAN EXERCISE IN SALES BENCHMARKING?
THE WRONG WAY TO ACT
SOLUTION SELECTION METHODOLOGY
ACME USES HYPOTHESIS TESTING
TO REVIEW
SALES BENCHMARKING AS A STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURE
STATISTICAL PROCESS CONTROL SPC
CONTROL CHARTS
CHART FOR A PROCESS OUT OF CONTROL
THE ACTION PLAN
SUSTAINABLE ACTION PLANS
ACMES SUCCESS IN THE SOUTHEASTA REPEATABLE PERFORMANCE?
WRAPUP
TO REVIEW
COMMON OBJECTIONS TO SALES BENCHMARKING
OVERCOMING THESE OBJECTIONS
GETTING THE SALES LEADER TO BECOME AN EARLY ADOPTER
IMPLEMENTATION OBSTACLES
OVERCOMING THE OBSTACLES
TO REVIEW
NOW WHAT?
DO NOT DELAY
THE TIME IS NOWA CALL TO ACTION
THE FORMULA
GET YOUR EXTERNAL DATA SOURCE SAMPLE
DEFICIENCIES IN SALES PROBLEM SOLVING
INDUSTRYSPECIFIC EXAMPLES OF PEERING
SALES BENCHMARKING AND PEERING
CHARACTERISTICS OF A SUCCESSFUL SALES PEERING GROUP
PEERING AND THE FUTURE OF SALES LEADERSHIP
SALES PEERING AT ITS BESTSHORTCUTT
DEAN MANSFIELD PRESIDENT WORLDWIDE SALES AND DISTRIBUTION
ACTIVITIES
CONVERSIONS
TALENT
LEVEL 5 SALES FORCE
SOLUTIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
GERRY WAGNER VICE PRESIDENT OF SALES
CONVERSIONS
TALENT
SOLUTIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
DAVID M R COVEY SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT OF US SALES
CONVERSION
TALENT
DAVID MCMORROW EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT OF WORLDWIDE SALES
CONVERSION
TRANSACTION
SOLUTIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
WAYNE EISENBERG VICE PRESIDENT OF WORLDWIDE SALES
CONVERSIONS
TALENT
SOLUTIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS
FROM GREG
FROM AARON
INTRODUCTION
CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE
ARE OUR SALES FORCES READY?
WHATS IN IT FOR THE EXECUTIVES?
WHAT IS BUSINESS BENCHMARKING?
FIRST GLIMPSE INTO SALES BENCHMARKING
WHAT SALES BENCHMARKING IS NOT
STRATEGIC SALES BENCHMARKING
THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING WORLDCLASS
FOCUSED ACTION STEP 4
CONCLUSION
THE PATH FORWARD
GREG ALEXANDER
AARON BARTELS
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About the author (2008)

Greg Alexander, coauthor of Topgrading for Sales, is the cofounder and CEO of Sales Benchmark Index. He is also president of the Atlanta chapter of Sales & Marketing Executives International and was named Sales and Marketingmagazine's 2004 sales manager of the year.
 
Aaron Bartels and Mike Drapeau are cofounders and Executive Vice Presidents of Sales Benchmark Index.

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