Recruit, Select and Retain Employees Who Can Sell

World Class Organizations

During our research with the 50 participating companies we identified seventeen characteristics that seem to define world class sales organizations:

  1. Management provides consistent focus by prioritizing goals and sales opportunities frequently.
  2. The sales force consistently accomplishes its sales productivity and profit contribution goals.
  3. Job roles are organized around client needs to facilitate high value client management and delivery of seamless solutions.
  4. Senior executives clearly communicate and display passion for a single, well-defined, Preferred Way of Selling®.
  5. The sales competency of personnel in each job role benchmarks favorably to personnel in top performing companies which have a similar sales process.
  6. Clear sales task has been defined for every job role, and sales personnel are assessed for the behavioral competencies required for these tasks.
  7. Senior managers are “hands on” involved in sales and coaching.
  8. The organization operates with an integrated sales environment in which all sales practices are aligned with the corporate mission and strategy.
  9. The organization values managers who develop talent and measures and rewards them in part for employee satisfaction and development.
  10. The organization has established a culture of commitment to continuous learning and coaching.
  11. The organization practices integrated advisory selling across product categories with few silos.
  12. Adherence to the preferred sales process is valued as being as important as meeting short term sales production goals.
  13. The sales process is client-focused so client satisfaction is consistently high.
  14. The organization provides clear standards and accountability for both results and process, and nonperformance isn’t tolerated.
  15. Client relationship information is easily accessible and frequently used by sales personnel to focus and personalize sales activity and sales strategy.
  16. Performance metrics and rewards reflect a balanced scorecard encompassing financial, client, employee and sales process outcomes.
  17. Sales efforts are directed by a corporate sales manager and/or business unit sales managers.