As an executive you’re accountable for growth, profit and returns.

If you’ve already cut costs to lift profit, the next way to raise your bottom line is by growing the top line.

Mission Critical

This quest for top line growth makes the sales department a mission-critical function. Yet while other departments have smartened up with six sigma, kaizen, and lean processes in recent years, selling hasn’t changed gears for decades.

Sure, your sales team may have flirted with training and technology. But have these made a demonstrable difference?

For example, 10 years ago, did your salespeople:

• Take too long to be productive?

• Sell with discounts instead of value?

• Fail to achieve their forecast & quota?

• Chase too many unqualified deals?

• What about today? Are the same things happening?

If your salesforce still struggles with these error rates & inefficiencies, the hard truth is that your staff in charge of ‘sales effectiveness’ have been investing in the wrong things.

They’ve found it easier to apply a veneer of change, rather than solve the real problem lurking under every salesforce.

The Real Problem

The systems, rules, tools and metrics that run your salesforce have probably been cobbled together over time, and not assembled to a master plan. Random parts rarely build a high-performance super car.

So instead of painting the chassis with another splash of training, you should be taking apart the machinery and running a diagnostic on all the moving parts.

Think about it—if the underlying design of your sales engine is flawed, if the metal is rusted or too heavy, and if the cylinders aren’t firing in the right sequence—your race car won’t be competitive no matter which drivers you put behind the wheel. We can help with this.

The other problem is when top salespeople are promoted to a sales management role but continue to sell because it’s what they know best. They remain a player instead of a coach. This is like running a racing team where the pit crew boss is always trying to climb into a car. We know how to lift your sales managers, to lift the salespeople, to lift revenue.

Growth by Design

The SalesLabs proposition is to grow your top line predictably, sustainably and measurably.

We do this by tuning the physics of your sales department, and by tuning the chemistry of your people.

Physics

Of the 7,000+ companies to go public since 19801, only 5% went on to be billion Dollar/Pound/Euro giants—responsible for 56% of employment and 64% of market value. All of these followed a programme called Growthonomics, which BusinessWeek covered in 20092.

Growthonomics includes 8 disciplines, like an 8-cylinder engine. When 5 of these cylinders are running properly, your company can’t help but accelerate. 30 years of data proves it.

We can run an engine diagnostic on your business, and help you get on the fast track to exponential growth.

Chemistry

Only 4 in 10 salespeople have the ‘sales genes’ to move deals forward and close them. The rest cost you big money, as reported by Harvard Business Review’s coverage of our science in 20103.

Only 1 in 6 sales managers have the skills to build high-performing sales teams. Most function as lone-wolves instead of pack-leaders; tacticians instead of strategists; closers instead of coaches.

We’ve developed a proprietary model for analysing and improving the ‘Sales DNA’ of salespeople and their managers. It’s based on more than 20,000 hours of field observation & business school analysis. With our approach, middle-performers turn into top performers within 12 weeks. We’d like you to run a pilot, and prove it for yourself.

Call to Action

Our 21st-century analytics, psychology, neuroscience and proven change management practices help senior executives unlock new potential from their sales organisations.

Since 1997 our approach has helped clients build better skills, design better sales ecosystems, and claim more than $24 Bn (£14 Bn) in above- quota uplift.

Engage SalesLabs to audit your salesforce, and provide a proven roadmap to steady, profitable and sustainable improvement.

Our approach is unique. It works. And we guarantee it.

Would you like to know more?

1. Originally based on U.S. stockmarket data, the proportion of IPOs that become billion Dollar/Pound/Euro businesses remains consistent with stockmarket data in other geographies.

2. Based on data from Standard & Poor’s Compustat database triangulated with Thomson/Gale’s Business & Company Resource Center and interviews with 1000+ executives, customers & investors.

3. Based on data analysed by the Cranfield University School of Management on selling skills scored in live meetings in which 8 different personas were evident and the potency of each was measured, as featured in the December 2010 edition of Harvard Business Review.

Knowledge is power, and anything relating to cash, margin, risk and investment crosses your desk. You’re the financial steward who assures the integrity of your company’s modelling, expenditure and reporting against a backdrop of an unpredictable economy. Your managing director/CEO, other department heads, shareholders and analysts depend on your due diligence, insight and foresight.

Volatility

Despite the rigour you apply elsewhere, calculations turn elastic when it comes to the salesforce. Revenue can be far less than expected when salespeople highball their original forecast, then give away discounts at the finish line.

Income hits peaks & valleys when prospecting, nurturing and closing are not in balance, or when the pipeline is stacked unevenly. Since salespeople are targeted on the top line instead of profit, the true cost of sale (and therefore your rate of return on the salesforce) is seldom inspected.

When close dates are pushed back (with a corresponding increase in the cost of sale), managers rarely re-evaluate if pursuing the deal still makes sense. Too many salespeople burn out, jump or get pushed. You worry about the churn rate, the cost of recruitment & training, and the effectiveness of it all.

You try to make sense of the forecast by applying the law of averages in CRM or spreadsheets. But you still resort to manual weightings and revisions to massage the numbers. It’s not a precise science. But you wish it was.

Governance

Sales success has the reputation of being a ‘dark art’, shrouded in mystery. Some make this claim to avoid transparency. And with good cause. Recent benchmarks1 of global sales performance reveal sobering statistics every financial officer2 should consider:

• 74% of salespeople sell less than three-quarters of their revenue target.

• 61% of opportunities in the sales pipeline end in a ‘lost sale’ or ‘no decision’. The wastage is enormous.

• The cost of pursuing a solution sale is around $50,000—win or lose.

   63% of salespeople fail to push sales forward or even ask for the order3.

• 73% of sales managers avoid giving any formal coaching to their team.

• Where managers play the role of coach & motivator, 100% of salespeople will over-achieve their revenue target.

   The average size of sale is $80,000 for companies that invest less than $2,500 per head on sales development. When a higher amount is invested, the average sale jumps to $150,000.

• Too many leaders treat sales effectiveness as a cost to be avoided, and unwittingly handicap their engine for revenue growth.

Compliance

Imagine how analysts & shareholders would react to these ‘systems failures’ if they knew to look for them. That day may be closer than you think.

The International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) is a global coalition of regulators, investors, companies, standard setters, and accounting firms that believe greater transparency about value creation should be the next evolution in corporate reporting.

1. 2004-2014 research by SalesLabs, Sales Executive Council, and Cranfield University.

2. 2014 Sales Performance Optimization Study, CSO Insights.

3. Do You Really Know Who Your Best Salespeople Are?. Harvard Business Review, Dec 2010.

The IIR Framework of 2013 seeks “a concise communication about how an organization’s strategy, governance, performance, and prospects lead to the creation of value” in an expansion of traditional financial metrics.

The new standard for integrated reporting requires:

   Insight into the organization’s strategy, and how this relates to its ability to create value in the short, medium and long term.

• An holistic picture of the inter-related dependencies that affect the organization’s ability to create value over time.

• Insights into the nature & quality of relationships with key stakeholders, and how the organization understands and responds to their needs.

Strategy. Value creation. Stakeholder management. Your sales ecosystem contains all of these. As such, it’s under the magnifying glass.

As compliance frameworks catch up, what risks, duplications and profit drains will be revealed in your company’s sales function?

Call to Action

Our 21st-century analytics, thought leadership and experience helps senior executives improve the design, measurement and scalability of their sales organization. Every engagement is bespoke and confidential.

Since 1997 our approach has helped clients build better skills and design better sales ecosystems to achieve more than $24 Bn (£14 Bn) in extra-to-forecast revenue gains.

Engage SalesLabs to audit your salesforce, and provide a proven roadmap to steady, profitable and sustainable improvement.

Our approach is unique. It works. And we guarantee it.

Would you like to know more?

1. Originally based on U.S. stockmarket data, the proportion of IPOs that become billion Dollar/Pound/Euro businesses remains consistent with stockmarket data in other geographies

2. Based on data from Standard & Poor’s Compustat database triangulated with Thomson/Gale’s Business  Company Resource Center and interviews with 1000+ executives, customers & investors.

3. Based on data analysed by the Cranfield University School of Management on selling skills scored in live meetings in which 8 different personas were evident and the potency of each was measured, as featured in the December 2010 edition of Harvard Business Review.