Applying a framework for a better sales force

In today’s globally competitive economy, companies are concerned about missing new opportunities in their target markets and failing to keep pace with a changing business world. Now, more than ever, businesses risk squandering market share to their rivals if they stand still or fall behind.

But there are measures that organizations can take to avoid slipping up. Evaluating their sales performance and comparing it to those of their competitors and other top-performing sales organizations is the first step.

For further information, read the full Ernst & Young report, Outperforming the competition in a downturn at

Ambitious organizations constantly evaluate the effectiveness of their sales force and operations to avoid standing still. These companies evaluate their operations relative to the maturity model: a five-element framework based on the sales practices and strategies of the world’s leading organizations.

How this model is applied may differ depending on the size and complexity of a firm’s sales force and operations – but it is appropriate for companies across all industries.

When establishing the right sales framework for their business, directors should incorporate the maturity model’s five key elements. The following are examined in more detail in the full article:

  • Sales strategy and planning: weaker sales organizations generally do not explain the benefits of their products or services to clients, or fail to tailor their sales approach based on the customers’ needs and buying behavior.
  • Sales management: top firms understand that when it comes to sales management, overseeing staff requires as much attention as it does to close deals each month.
  • Sales process: successfully managing customer relationships and satisfying clients’ needs comes from creating and adhering to a robust sales process.
  • People, roles and processes: leading businesses scour the market for the best talent, make clear the rewards available to people already working in the company, and continuously offer new and existing staff development opportunities.
  • Technology and tools: within a weak sales infrastructure, it is common to find disconnected forecasting and reporting tools that offer little insight into customers.

With businesses battling for market share in a globally competitive marketplace, it is imperative for companies to seize any opportunity to outpace their competitors. Any tool that enables them to maximize revenues by improving their sales function cannot be ignored in today’s tough environment, where only the strongest survive.

While it offers no guarantee of success, the sales effectiveness maturity model can help companies boost their sales figures – providing they implement it correctly. Failure to do so could prove costly in the long run.

The complete article was written by:

  • Steven Gleed
    EMEIA Customer Center of  Excellence Leader, Ernst & Young
  • Michael A. Thompson
    EMEIA  Advisory Accounts Leader, Ernst & Young

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