Benchmarking Corporate Sales Force Effectiveness

25 May 2022


Large firms typically have both a sales function, and a “sales force effectiveness” (SFE) function. With names like “sales operations,” “commercial effectiveness,” “revenue operations (RevOps), or “sales excellence,” they provide direction and support to the sales organization, which remains focused on execution.

Corporate SFE functions require an unusual combination of strategic and tactical capabilities, and the professionals working within them often have unique backgrounds, skills, and career trajectories.

This research identifies the competencies important to corporate SFE functions at both the company and individual manager level. It prioritizes these based on importance, and identifies emerging competencies judged increasingly important in recent years. And, it benchmarks firms’ success in staffing, developing, and fielding the competencies required for an effective corporate SFE function.

Condition of Participation

Research participants are asked to complete an online survey lasting approximately ten minutes, and may optionally elect to participate in a brief telephone follow-up interview.

Participation Eligibility

The study is open to management practitioners responsible for developing, supporting, or managing sales forces; or who are involved with assessing, communicating, implementing, managing, or optimizing sales strategy within their firm. Target participants are involved in executive leadership, strategic planning, sales effectiveness, sales operations, commercial excellence, sales leadership, or sales enablement in organizations with at least US$1 million in annual revenue, or directly employing at least 10 salespeople. Firms or individuals that market technology, products, or services to sales organizations as a core offering are not eligible to participate in this research initiative.

Benefits of Participation

Participants receive:

  • A copy of the findings report on this research topic
  • An invitation to a Sales Management Association webcast in which summary findings are presented to our audience.


Survey results are only reported in aggregate, and never in a way that would compromise the identity of any single respondent. All individual respondent data are treated with strict confidentiality, and will not be distributed.

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