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Sales Performance Journal

Anchoring Your Strategies for Success

Are your strategies to get to sales excellence anchored in a foundation made up of best practices? In this edition of the Sales Performance Journal, we look at some of the successful strategies that have worked for us: the key sales metrics that have been shown to have the most direct effect on overall performance, the importance of not making assumptions about your customers’ needs, and how to go about creating the desired—and realistic—sales culture for your organization. As an added bonus, we’re including the MHI Research Institute’s Strategic Themes 2015: Perspectives in Productivity, which looks at the strategic importance of building the sales force’s business awareness.

Mind the Gap: Key Sales Metrics to Focus On

The latest MHI Sales Best Practices Study identified the critical customer metrics that drive World-Class Sales Performance and that are shown to have the most direct effect on overall performance. We sat down with recently with Nattalie Hoch, Executive Vice President, Sales Operations, to discuss how they all fit within the MHI Global Sales System, with specific focus on the importance of increasing the number of qualified opportunities and new account acquisition--which are closely aligned in how they tie into driving forecast accuracy.

Keep an Eye on Your Customers

In the volatile and uncertain world of business development, sales, and key account management, sales professionals and leaders simply cannot afford to make assumptions about their customers and what they need (this applies to internal selling as well). When talking with buying influences and decision makers, it’s critical that you understand each of their concepts—and, if you don’t, recognize a red flag for what it is and that you need to find out this information before proceeding. Read more for ways to keep up to date on your customers’ business and the changes that affect the business.

Creating the Sales Culture You Want

Before an organization can begin take steps to implement the sales culture it desires, it must first understand the kind of culture it wants to develop. One of the biggest obstacles to creating a sales culture is grounded in the definition of the word “sell,” because many of the people who will form the sales culture do not consider themselves “salespeople.” Positioning selling as the act of building consensus with the customer around a solution could go a long way toward helping those who do not consider themselves salespeople become comfortable within the sales culture. Making everyone comfortable with their role in a sales culture is critical to success—and a major challenge.

MHI Research Institute: Strategic Themes 2015—Perspectives in Productivity: Building Business Awareness

The MHI Research Institute’s Strategic Themes 2015 looks at the results of the 2014 Sales Performance and Productivity Study, focusing on the strategic imperative of building the business awareness of the sales force and delving deeply into the specifics of each element of the productivity infrastructure. Left on their own, salespeople only learn at the speed of one--themselves. Investments in productivity allow the organization to learn at the “speed of we” so that they are better prepared to achieve a knowledge advantage with their customers. And from that foundation, they can begin to decode the customer’s decision dynamic.

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