experience matters


We’re inspired by the people we meet. These articles represent insights gained from these experiences

The Rigor of Sales Effectiveness

A recent active management engagement illustrates, once again, that sales effectiveness is rigorous. Too often account executive stop short of completely analyzing their business, i.e. sales opportunities.

They feel that if they are engaged in the traditional cycle of sales management (discovering, presenting, proposing and closing) they are doing their job. However, much falls through the cracks. Effective sales management requires account executives to understand their position in six key categories:

1. Opportunity Assessment

2. Matching Solutions to Opportunities

3. Decision Making Process

4. Relationship(s)

5. Competition

6. Sales Timeline

A recent Active Management engagement around our Sales Effectiveness model brings several issues to the fore. At this firm we found the Account Executives were good at categories 1-2 and 6. They were poor at:
· The Decision Making Process;

· Relationship(s); and

· Competition.

For example, the Account Executive felt they had a "very solid" proposal in front of the client. When we explored the client situation deeply we found that was not the case. When we asked the question, "Do you know the people?" the reply from the Account Executive was "Yes." What we found out (more below), was the Account Executive knew the names and titles, but not the people and their roles and responsbililities . . . big difference.

It was clear that an evidence-based sales model would be most helpful to this organization. That's when we introduced Occulus into this client relationship; Occulus is our sales management partner.

Occulus is an easy to use Cloud-based Business Intelligence System. It is purposefully created for sales and sales management that performs a multi-level predictive analysis on deals in the sales pipeline and forecast to;

· Identify the best opportunities for the sales force to work on, those they can win;

· Identify risky deals in the sales pipeline, reducing deal slippage and ‘No Decision’deals; and

· Provide more accurate and timely sales information, increasing forecasting accuracy and optimizing resource allocation.

Occulus helps create an evidence-based sales process that drives anecdotal Account Executive impressions out of the forecast. It helps create a sales picture based on realistic and diagnostic information. This allowed me to understand where to focus our coaching efforts to improve their capabilities and effectiveness. Together they make a great framework for increased productivity.

Gary Collins