Interim Placer Efficiency Thoughts

5th Quadrant seems the name of a Croatian Interim Management provider. I came across a page they’d posted about the demands on someone running a sales function. Unfortunately, none of their quoted figures has a source. Nonetheless, it’s intriguing to consider their accuracy and by consequence, application within your sales operation.

“with three to five hours of such help from a professional trainer a month, a salesperson will improve his sales results by 7% within six months on this alone”

“To achieve a sustainable sales growth, each salesperson should invest at least 40% of his time in prospective customers … [yet] Analysis shows that in average companies less than 10% of the time is invested in this activity”

Half-a-day a month coaching and two days a week on prospecting is their recipe for “sustainable sales growth”. Is this true? (What’s their sales training-led seven percent uplift worth?) And if it is, how close are you to it?

They then list their essential areas of sales leadership focus.

  1. a clear strategy and operational plan for the team, as well as for each of its members
  2. spend 50% of time with salespeople in the field, working as trainer
  3. help salespeople in working with prospective customers, especially regarding the preparation of the first call and the finalization of the sale
  4. work out a plan of incentives and motivation for salespeople
  5. have a manual of authority, so salespeople know the level of their authority in sales, which is clearly defined in such a document

As a how-to guide on overall sales management it’s hardly complete, but a few thought provoking ideas emerge. My own experience of being in such a position, and those of helping others when they similarly occupy the sales helm, is that there’s a classic battle between tactical and strategic issues for your time. Crazily, most CEOs I’ve known urge attention towards the former. Surely this is counter-productive and more likely to prevent “sustainable sales growth”?

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