Results from a June 2007 benchmark study from Aberdeen Group highlights what it takes for market leaders to avoid stalled sales and stay ahead of the crowded field of competitors. Leading companies have focused on both the sales management process, as well as tools designed for the individual sales representative, to increase the ability of their sales organizations to hit quotas and ultimately remain competitive.

A Webinar from an IT service management and CRM market leader, FrontRange Solutions, one of the sponsors of the study conducted by Aberdeen analysts, highlights 10 Proven Ways to Increase a Sales Team’s Productivity, including Sales Forecasting and Sales Force Automation.

The study says that companies are increasingly challenged in their sales performance by longer sales cycles and low sales productivity. Specifically, sales teams are missing revenue targets, not hitting quota and facing stalled opportunities even as their organizations strive to remain competitive and service increasingly discerning customers. Titled Sales Effectiveness: Getting Back to Selling, the Aberdeen survey shows that Best-in-Class (BIC) firms sustaining exceptional sales performance enable, or are planning to enable several key processes, performances, and organizational capabilities.

According to the study, best-in-class companies achieve their leadership status by jettisoning spreadsheets to track performance, streamlining processes and centralizing sales information to eliminate “multiple versions of the truth.” Top performers use technology to integrate sales processes into the back office; one benefit of which is the ability to eliminate administrative overheads. BICs are also investing in formal sales methodologies and information-based processes as a competitive differentiator.

“In an ever-changing business environment, it is important for sales management to use all of the tools at their disposal to create a learning organization and knowledge-based culture,” says Andrew Boyd, SVP and Research Director at Aberdeen Group. “The research reveals that organizations are developing knowledge-based cultures through the combination of process and information enablers. Historically, these two different types of enablers have been mutually exclusive; however, the research also suggests that there is currently a convergence of the two underway.”

Additional findings from the study include:

  • Ninety one percent implement a structured approach to competitive, market, and sales intelligence.
  • Ninety six percent create a central repository of account, contact, and opportunity information.
  • Ninety five percent utilize formal and documented sales processes.

The findings of this study validate what we have observed in the field,” said Michael McCloskey, FrontRange Solutions CEO. “As the best practices used by large enterprises and small and mid-size organizations are solidified, the next natural differentiators are how they apply knowledge, technology, and performance management for consistent results. There is no question that processes, technology and knowledge that are the underpinnings of consistently successful sales performance.”

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