Sales remains firms' weak spot, research shows
Businesses are forsaking sales strategy in place of business and marketing strategies to their detriment, according to a survey.
The Barrett Sales Strategy & Operations Benchmark Findings report revealed that businesses audited were averaging just over 50 per cent across 17 key sales markers in their sales operations and delivering sales strategies.
Areas such as sales metrics, sales force development, market segmentation and pipeline management ranked the lowest, scoring less than 50 per cent.
Barrett Consulting Group’s managing director Sue Barrett said the results were indicative of the lack of understanding businesses had of sales strategy.
“Given the breadth and depth of industries benchmarked and the poor state of results in the initial audit phase, this shows that this is a general business problem not limited to particular industries,” Ms Barrett said.
“Sales strategy is still poorly understood or ignored completely much to the peril of many businesses.
“It is more common practice and perhaps more comforting to push for more sales productivity or to cut prices than to step back and re-examine the entire sales strategy and sales processes that underpin sales success.”
Ms Barrett said businesses can take a step back and look at the bigger picture instead of succumbing to pressure to achieve short- to medium-term quotas.
“If a business strategy explains how the business will grow and realise its vision, a sales strategy states how the business is going to organise its sales efforts across the value chain to win sales in the marketplace,” she said.
“If sales leaders fail to have a clear picture of what they want to achieve, if they lack a sound sales strategy and operations plan and the courage to make their strategy real, they and their businesses are doomed to fail.”