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.
- a clear strategy and operational plan for the team, as well as for each of its members
- spend 50% of time with salespeople in the field, working as trainer
- help salespeople in working with prospective customers, especially regarding the preparation of the first call and the finalization of the sale
- work out a plan of incentives and motivation for salespeople
- 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”?