Is your 'selling' changing?

The age old question How To Get More Leads, has been the starting point for increased revenue drives for nearly 30 years, but times now must change.  This is the message from a research paper by www.csoinsights.com I got sent by a currently courting salesforce.com.  They report salesrep productivity falling, sales activity sticking to the same old routines since the 70s and buying cycles changing with the advent of sophisticated pre-tender web-enabled research.

The new questions should be how to integrate people, process, technology and knowledge.  Focusing on new resources to be harnessed, true (preferably strategic) selling innovation, and make selling methods sustainable competitive advantage are all paramount today. 

The message in short, is that the objectives have remained the same for donkey’s years, and with results dropping off the graph, a significant change in approach is mandatory.  Some of the more entertaining findings are:

Ramp-up Time Worsens – in 03, almost 60% of all new reps were producing six months in.  By 06 the number had alarmingly halved.
Selling Time Falls – in 01, 38% of reps’ time was directly talking with prospects.  Despite increasing in the meantime, by 06, the proportion dropped a couple of points, to 36%.
When You Want Something Done…  Do It Yourself – over 40% of all leads are still generated by salesreps themselves.
Communications – the number of firms wanting to improve comms around the sales team has doubled in twelve months, and a huge chunk, an incredible half of all firms, hardly share or build upon any best-practice at all.
CRM Isn’t Ubiquitous – only one in two firms have a formalised crm in place, and of these a surprising third had hands in developing their own, and stunningly half had only got one going in the past two years.
Sales Knowledge Management’s Back On The Agenda – the top 3 priorities for intel improvement are where ‘How’ to do things is vital; best-practice from around the salesforce, competitor intel & shared (strategic) account plans.

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