The Accenture Sales Performance Study: Sales Effectiveness Gets Some Respect

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Accenture Report

Last July, Accenture released a report called “Connecting the Dots on Sales Performance” which drew some conclusions from a study on that they conducted on sales performance optimization.  The top priorities were:

1. Increase sales effectiveness.
2. Increase revenue.

The bottom of the list included increasing renewals, reducing sell cycle time, and optimizing lead generation.

Amazing! Sales effectiveness is at the top of the list.

Sales teams and organizations now generally have the tools (i.e. CRM) to do this, but they are struggling to find ways to actually blend sales methodology and the technology to result in sales effectiveness.

Here are some interesting quotes from the report:

  • Accenture knows that improving adoption of sales methodology has a direct correlation to results.
  • Sales tools should exist to promote the adoption of optimized sales methodologies and processes.
  • CSOs indicated that CRM tool adoption rate is less than 50 percent.
  • Instead of building the tools (software for sales people) to serve the needs of sales managers, focus on delivering a distinctive, value-based experience to sales representatives.
  • No matter how they “play the sales game,” CSOs across the globe say that their top priority this year is to increase sales effectiveness (56.3 percent), followed by increasing revenues (51.9 percent) and improving up-selling/cross-selling at 38.9 percent.

Who can actually do this?  There are many great CRM tools out there – but they generally stay far away from sales methodologies. They think they are much better served to be “methodology-agnostic”.

And then there are the many old sales methodologies out there that have been forced-fitted into software. You can tell these apps by the dozens (hundreds?) of fields and pages of forms that they have.  These just aren’t universal enough to handle the entire portfolio of business a sales professional has and typically focus on the top few opportunities to justify the effort spent in completing the data entry.  Because of this segmentation, the sales rep is hard-pressed to have a single spot where they can go to see and work their opportunities.  They don’t have a trusted sales productivity system.

This represents an entire line of thinking for us here at The SalesWays HUB – sales effectiveness is at the top of the priority list for sales executives, but much of the entrenched thinking is stuck in the past.  With mobile smartphones everywhere, and flexible Cloud access, the technology platforms are finally there to support blending sales methodology into everyday sales apps.

But until they truly integrate their thinking with the possibilities of today’s technology, the vendors and consultants will keep on getting it wrong.

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