This Week's Herman Trend Alert

Leadership in Normal 2.0

  The Herman Trend Alert

April 20, 2016

Future of Sales Management

Thanks to Lisa Clark of Qstream, we have seen the future of sales management and it is fascinating.

Metrics vs. Data Analytics
Metrics are quantitative measures, while analytics fall into two categories: 1) Predictive, based on historical data and 2) Adaptive, based on real-time data.

Want to be successful? Use Predictive Data Analytics
According to Bain & Company, organizations that use data to drive their sales leadership positions are two times more likely to be a top industry performer, three times more likely to execute decisions as planned, and four times more likely to make decisions faster. And as we all know, agility can make a huge difference to the bottom line.

Focus efforts where they will matter most
According to the Sales Executive Council, a five percent performance gain from the middle 60 percent of performers yields over 70 percent more revenue than a five percent shift in the top 20 percent. A rising tide lifts all boats; in other words, if you concentrate on on improving the performance of the middle 60 percent, that focus will result in much higher results than just concentrating on the top 20 percent, which is what most sales managers always believed would be the most effective.

Data also tell us the top driver of sales performance is coaching
High performing organizations provide 15 to 20 percent more coaching time than low performing companies---not surprising. However, the challenge is that many sales managers have not been taught how to coach effectively. We see a major opportunity for organizations to coach their coaches (Clark agrees; see below). Related to that success is Qstream software's Manager Dashboards that have the effect of improving coaching effectiveness by 55 percent. Not only does coaching work for individuals, but the amount of coaching also correlates to team success. Best practices dictate that 20 to 30 percent of the time should be spent on coaching.

We concur with Lisa Clark's predictions
1. Sales forces will adopt a "less is more approach" to data and reporting.
2. Front line managers will finally become the focus of sales enablement (Coach the coaches).
3. Mobile productivity and predictive analytics tools will become ubiquitous.
4. Sales analytics will become more actionable.
5. More heads of sales will get their "C" title.
6. (Our own) Companies will use assessments to identify sales representatives who are not "ready" and their training needs will be addressed.

Our forecast
Driven by data analytics and the desire to optimize profits, advancing technology will continue to afford higher and higher levels of fine-tuning of the sales process. Expect companies to invest the resources necessary, because the return on investment will be unmistakable.

Also recommended by Lisa Clark, is Cracking the Sales Management Code, a book by Jason Jordan.

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