What is your sales staff doing to help sales management figure out which customers to go after, asked Jim Dickie, Managing Partner of CSO Insights in his presentation, “CRM 2.0 for Sales Management,” at the CRM Evolution 2012 conference in New York City.
To develop your business, you have to find great sales people specific to your business and second, find the right customers to help your business grow.
Sales DNA assessment
You want people that will not only be successful but will also want to stay for a long time. You can determine that by looking at these three criteria, advised Dickie:
- Innate Talent: Are they strategic or tactical? Long term or short term?
- Culture Fit: How do they fit within the culture of the organization?
- Acquired Skills: Will they be happy here over time? Even if you bring on a great salesperson, but they’re not happy, that’s a bad hire.
What customers should you go after?
Salespeople often go after high performance customers, meaning those that are great consumers of your products and services. Problem is these customers could be low potential meaning you’ve maxed them out. Dickie suggests you seek high potential customers that are low performing. There’s greater opportunity in that space.
In sales today the sin is not to lose. The sin is to take too long to lose. That’s why analyzing your pipeline can’t be a once a year process. It has to be ongoing. Dickie argued that it’s OK to have a decreasing pipeline if you’re getting more out of the customers you’ve already got.
The Sales Ecosystem
The sales ecosystem is a combination of things that are in and out of your control. You must constantly deal with economic shifts, competitive landscape, political environment, and prospecting. Even if you come up with the best strategy to handle it, nothing’s going to happen unless you have the culture to support your strategy.
Hiring the right talent, finding customers with great potential, and building a strategy with the right culture, is the great new potential of sales management.
Dickie concluded with this thought from Allan Lam, SVP for Fairchild Semiconductor:
“Do I have the capacity to persevere? Do I have the stomach to face failure? Let’s be really frank. If you embark on a journey like this and two years down the road the efforts are not showing any results, you can lose your job, but I also believe that if you don’t do anything, you are going to get fired anyway.”