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Research

Research Brief: Sales Analytics Capabilities

April 21, 2017

 

This research examines how sales organizations turn data into management ready insights. Doing so often involves aligning the efforts of two distinct populations: managers who must make decisions, and analytics support professionals. This latter group has access to data, but not always an understanding of how best to investigate them in ways most helpful to the managers they support. Reporting and analytics tools can bridge this gap.

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Research

Research Brief: Enabling Indirect Sales Channels

April 21, 2017

 

This research investigates tactics used by firms in support of indirect sales channels – the salespeople, agencies, affiliates, and networks engaged (but not directly employed) by sellers. Special focus is given to indirect salesperson effectiveness, and how selling firms can affect it with investments in content, technology, and training.

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Research

Research Brief: Salesperson Learning Preferences

April 10, 2017

 

This research investigates the range of training and development practices utilized by sales organizations. These practices are rapidly evolving in response to emerging technology and the quickening pace of change in sales job content and learning objectives. This study illuminates which approaches yield the best results for sales forces, and how firms can anticipate future developments in learning approaches.

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Research Brief: Salesperson Retention and Turnover

March 31, 2017

 

This research investigates sales force practices in hiring, onboarding, and retaining key performers. It identifies root causes of salesperson churn, methods used by organizations to retain salespeople, and the impact of these strategies on sales force and firm results.

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Research

Research Brief: Salesperson Development Priorities

March 29, 2017

 

Two questions underlie every firm’s efforts to build a successful sales force: “What qualities make salespeople successful?” and “How do we develop these qualities?” This research identifies how organizations answer these two fundamental questions. Most importantly, it investigates the alignment between management’s priorities (suggested by the first question), and the training investments organizations make in salespeople (in response to the second).

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Research

Research Brief: Investments in Salesperson Skill Development

January 25, 2017

 

Sales forces are change-intensive organizations. With each new shift in market demand or buyer preference, sales organizations may change sales messaging, sales performance expectations, or job descriptions; in some cases, firms may even recast fundamental assumptions of how their salespeople deliver value to customers. Managing through this kind of change requires salespeople capable of acquiring new knowledge and skills, and adapting to fit new circumstances.

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Research

Research Brief: Managing Sales Compensation

January 05, 2017


Sales compensation overshadows other sales-related expenses, and at times dominates the sales organization’s attention. Firms’ ability to design, adapt, administer, and communicate their sales compensation programs is therefore a significant management concern. This research examines current sales compensation management practice, quantifies factors differentiating high and low performing firms in this area, and identifies emerging issues and management priorities.
 

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Research

Research Brief: Refocusing Sales Operations

December 21, 2016


Sales operations functions serve a vital, strategic role in sales organizations, frequently engineering large scale change initiatives in sales coverage models, or comprehensive incentive plan revisions, or launching new offerings. Along the way, they must also respond to the sales organization’s day-to-day tactical support requirements – like reporting, territory alignment, or compensation administration. This mix of strategic and tactical responsibilities represents a considerable challenge to sales operations departments. This research is focused on identifying emerging practices in sales operations that address this central challenge. 

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Research

Research Brief: Sales Force Attitudes on Forecasting

November 17, 2016

Sometimes we ask our members, who are sales effectiveness leaders and senior sales leaders, to name their most vexing challenges. A topic that always comes up? Sales forecasting.
 
It’s easy to see why. In many leaders opinions’, forecasting is undertaken with uncertain objectives, requires lots of effort, is fraught with bias, and returns results of dubious accuracy. We wondered: what do the people doing most of the forecasting – salespeople and sales managers – think about it?
 
So we asked them. See what we learned in our latest research report. And, view a data visualization we've developed using the research data on Tableau Public.

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Research

Research Brief: Leading the Social Sales Force

June 15, 2016

 

Social media can be used by companies and their sales organizations for an array of purposes, from strategic (building brand image) to tactical (generating leads) to organizational support (identifying job candidates). Whether gathering information on markets and competitors or sharing information on products and promotions, social media expand a company’s reach beyond its physical footprint and the first-degree contacts of its salesforce.

 

This research looks at how much social media use has changed since our last look in 2012, and how firms are responding to the opportunities they represent as well as how they support their effective use.

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