Archive for October 27th, 2008

Making the Number. How to use sales benchmarking to drive performance. Alexander, Batels & Drapeau

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Making the Number. How to use sales benchmarking to drive performance. Greg Alexander, Aaron Bartels & Mike Drapeau. 2008. ISBN 9781591842170.  This book should take sales from Art to Science.   This is a very comprehensive work which any sales manager looking to make a difference in the next 10 years, should read and start to implement.  If you are also  looking at top grading for sales, then this is a book you will need to learn from. The authors website has  published a list of sample data to help you get started on benchmarking. Its illuminating to see where some of the “top” 100 companies actually come out.

They do a good job of isolating the various dependencies in sales.

  1. Industry segment
  2. Geographical areas
  3. Sales channels
  4. Sales force organization
  5. Public, private, NGO
  6. History.

Then they give a sample of data  required in each category of sales such as:

  1. Account planning – churn rate, lifetime value, customer share
  2. Budgeting – break-even, gap to goal, net income/rep, return on sales
  3. Channel – Outside sales contribution, outbound lead ration
  4. Comp- sales quota attainment, total available income, variable comp rates
  5. Expense – cost of advertising, cost of marketing, cost of sales, cost per rep.
  6. management – Sales quota/sale, sales productivity/rep, forecast accuracy, pipeline ratio
  7. methods – sales activities to close sale, sales cycle length, deal size
  8. staff – ramp time to full productivity, sales rep/manager ratio, sales rep/ sales support ratio
  9. talent – turnover rate, interview pool needed, sourcing pool needed, time to backfill a rep
  10. infrastructure – sales growth rate, CRM/SFA utilization, lead source utilization, mobile utilization
  11. territory – close rate, customer acquisition cost, customers /rep, potential leads /rep
  12. training – budget, training hours per rep.

They break out sales types into an interesting six categories

  1. Delivery
  2. Order taking
  3. Missionary
  4. Technician
  5. Demand creator
  6. Solution provider

This is a very useful book which could help save your job if you are a VP Sales and its tough going. The job is not easy , but this is a terrific way to help you manage.  A bonus is the epilogue where they describe sales peering.   Visualize a souped up Linkedin Questions all about best practices and benchmarking sales. Something really needed.

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Sales on the Line. Sharon Drew Morgen.

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Sales on the Line. Sharon Drew Morgen.  1993. 978-1555520472. Meeting the Business Demands of the ’90s Through Phone Partnering  Oh how I wish I had known about this book many years ago. This is the NY Times best selling book that launched SDM on her exploration of effective sales techniques.  The advie is timeless and lays the groundwork for what she has continued to learn in Seling with Integrity and Buying Facilitation.   I believe that she has written the complete guide to telephone qualification for every sales force.  But it  is more than that, her approach I think frees up most sales people to do a much better job in their entire approach. This is a quick ,easy read , but needs to be taken in with the rest of her material as she has covered a lot of ground since 1993.

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