ConnectLeader recently hosted an Executive Sales Roundtable Webinar on the BrightTalk Sales Management Channel. The webinar was titled Sales Productivity Trends for 2015. We've summarized the presentation and roundtable discussions.
We featured Dr.Richard Rocco, Assistant Professor at DePaul University. Dr. Rocco has over 20 years of sales and marketing leadership experience and conducts extensive research into B2B Sales Effectiveness topics. He also teaches courses on Inside Sales and Sales Strategies and Technology. Richard Rocco shared an article he co-authored in the Harvard Business Review Teaching Sales
Our panelists were:
- Matt Bertuzzi, Inside Sales Consultant, The Bridge Group
- Chris Salisbury, Director of Inside Sales, ConnectLeader
3 Key Sales Effectiveness Drivers
Designing & Developing Competencies
- Relates to Hiring, Training & Coaching
- Best practices: Time to spend coaching per week: 1/2 Day
- Results: 1.5 to 2 times sales productivity increase
- Average Annual Turnover: 28%
- Rehiring Costs: $114,000
Defining and Adopting Sales Processes
- < 50% of companies follow one
- < 35% of companies can describe it
Summary of Panelist Comments
Key Productivity Issues that Inside Sales Managers Care About
- Hiring & Turnover
- Developing People
- Executing Process
- Leveraging Technology
Measure what is important and what information we're going to use. Measuring what you're not going to use is a waste of time"
Matt Bertuzzi, The Bridge Group
Consider the intangibles when hiring an inside sales rep.
My best salespeople were from unconventional backgrounds including a bartender, an aspiring actress, and a hairdresser. They each brought their own style and abilities to their job which required a high level of human relationship skills. the lesson - look beyond the "resume" skills (i.e. experience, product knowledge, skills) when evaluating talent."
Chris Salisbury, ConnectLeader
Does your company have a defined sales process?
- Yes: 70%
- No: 20%
- Not Sure: 10%
What are the most important characteristics you look for when hiring an inside sales rep?
- Experience: 38%
- Personality: 25%
- Motivation: 38%
Questions & Answers
Q. What role should leadership play in Strategic Marketing?
A. (Rich Rocco) Sales & marketing teams that align their strategies with the customer buying process are much more successful than organizations that are not aligned.
A. (Matt Bertuzzi) HubSpot is a great example of best practices for CRO and CMO to work together. See Slideshare below.
Q. A 1/2 day of coaching per week per rep seems like a lot especially with a team of 9 reps! What are the most critical elements of coaching (pre-call planning, joint client visits, joint analysis of territory, etc.)?
A. (Rich Rocco) We find that 3 hours per week is a benchmark...although it does depend on the level of the sales professional. Junior reps need more time. Senior reps. need to know they can get face time when they need it. The key is to either start dedicating time... or making more time... since the benefits are significant.
Q. Does a perfect work week exist for an effective sales manager?
A. (Matt Bertuzzi) A good rule of thumb is to spend 1/3 of the time hiring, 1/3 of the time with people, and 1/3 of the time doing real work (what you are getting paid to do).