Art & Science

of complex sales

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Sales pipeline management: let’s stop confusing progress with probability

Sales forecasting is hard. For proof, you need look no further than the 2018 CSO Insights Sales Performance study, which reported that on average a little over 46% of all forecasted sales deals actually resulted in a win (never mind the timing).

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Is this the most counterproductive sales metric?

If we’re driven by data and interested in statistics, there are a wide range of sales metrics we can choose to monitor. Assuming that we have collected the data in the first place, we can measure win rates, sales cycle velocity, changes in deal value or close date and all manner of other indicators.

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What if your sales analytics are missing the point?

Sales analytics are supposed to make everything about your sales system more effective. Companies that market sales analytics technologies love to tout its benefits, from providing greater “insights” to promoting “optimization” of the pipeline.

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Do women make better salespeople than men?

When I meet sales leaders for the first time, one of the questions I usually ask is, “Who is your top salesperson?” Very often, the answer is the name of a woman.

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Measure Change in Sales Effectiveness without Numbers and Metrics

We want to get better at selling and as sales leaders we want our salespeople to improve. We need them to improve.

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Size isn’t everything: why more revenue often flows from smaller pipelines

One of the abiding urban myths that misinforms sales pipeline management is the idea that sales people need at least 3x pipeline coverage in order to achieve their quota. Where this “golden number” came from, nobody seems to know, but it’s a fair bet that it dates back beyond the Neolithic.

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18 Eye-Opening Sales Effectiveness Statistics

I took the time to review some of the more stunning industry data from the past year. For instance, even as sales effectiveness continues to decline, 92.5% of firms raised their revenue targets for 2016. It remains to be seen how many of them achieved those targets, but if the trend of nine years holds, it’s unlikely to be an encouraging number.

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You need to know these win/loss analysis secrets

When I ask sales leaders about win/loss analysis, nearly everyone agrees that it is important. But when I ask them whether their company engages in them consistently and effectively, very few answer with a confident “yes.”

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Five Sales Performance Blind Spots Sales Leaders Apparently Don’t Even Know They Have

A 2015 CSO Insights study on Sales Enablement Optimization discovered that a broad spectrum of companies are investing in five key areas of sales enablement this year: Collaboration, tech-enabled training, content management, virtual coaching, and analytics.