Must Read – Accenture / CSO Insights Sales Optimization Study

61% of reps made quotaIn their latest study (thanks to Charlie for sending it to me) – Accenture reported on the 2000 companies worldwide that CSO Insights surveyed. I identified some very interesting findings and if there was a big surprise it was that nothing surprised me!  In fact, it supports everything I’ve written about here for the past 5 years.  Consider the following:

The authors categorized it as good news that 61.5% of sales reps reached quota – the highest level in 4 years!  Good news?  Would it be good news if you could account for 61.5% of your money?

How about this for confusion: The #1 initiative for sales leaders is to increase revenue, yet increasing sales effectiveness is higher on the initiatives list than capturing new accounts or more effective upselling.  While I am overjoyed that increasing sales effectiveness was #2 on the list, 68% said that they were happy with the amount of sales and other training their reps were receiving. What’s worse, is that on the list of sales effectiveness initiatives, revising rep hiring strategies is dead last. Yet I have witnessed many incredible improvements in sales force effectiveness because of a change in the way companies hire sales reps! If companies don’t change the training they provide and don’t change the way they hire salespeople, how will they change effectiveness and increase revenue?  Can you understand that thinking?

Wait – there’s more.

50% are not using assessments in their hiring process – there’s a news flash for you. However, of the other 50% that do, 80% of them reported that assessments improved their hiring success rates.  Results showed that using “scientific profiling” provided more consistent results, lowers attrition and improves the number of reps making quota. You can be sure that the 20% who aren’t seeing an impact aren’t using the right assessments.

That won’t surprise my regular readers and clients that use our (Objective Management Group / OMG’s) highly customizable and predictive sales candidate assessments. OMG was nominated for Top Sales Assessment Tool in this year’s Top Sales & Marketing Awards event.  If you use already use them, you know and you can vote for OMG here. If you don’t already use OMG’s Sales Candidate Assessments, you can begin a Free 72-hour trial by clicking here.  If you’re interested in reading more, you can check out my series of articles that compare assessments.

There’s more…

50% said they need to improve their sales process and methodology.  It’s about time!  Half of you are getting it…The study said that organizations achieve better results by focusing on process and methodology first and then on implementing the technology to support specific objectives.  Read my article on Sales Process and Methodology.  Then answer these questions about your Sales Process.  Read my article about sales process as a sales management competency. And finally, read my article about sales models.

What this and other studies show, is that what people want, what people need and and the initiatives they often establish are not in alignment.  When it comes to the sales force and its ability to increase your revenue – the number one initiative in the study – there is one proven way to identify what needs to be done in your particular company.  Evaluate your sales force and identify exactly what the most important steps are that you must take in the next 12 months.