Securing new business is the top objective of companies worldwide, according to a new report.
CSO Insights discloses this finding in its 2014 “Sales Force Optimization Study.” Underwritten by Velocify and based on a survey of more than 1,200 companies worldwide, the report collected information on more than 100 sales effectiveness-related metrics.
The research shows “capturing new accounts” is a top objective of 60.4 percent of the companies surveyed. This is followed by “increasing sales effectiveness” (40.4 percent) and optimizing lead generation (40.2 percent) as the second and third most frequently cited top objectives.
The report indicates that nearly half of sales leads (46.9 percent) are generated by sales reps themselves. This compares with 25.9 percent of leads that are generated by marketing, and 21.3 percent secured through customer referrals.
When asked whether they use commercial sales intelligence or sales analytics/big data, a significant majority (58.2 percent) identify the former and 13.4 percent the latter.
“The reason SI is becoming a must-have for salespeople is that they need to earn the right to have a prospect agree to let them be part of their buying process,” the report states. “This means reps need to do their homework before they make their first call to try to get into the game.
Turning to the utilization of sales analytics and big data, the study reveals the following:
- Generate more and/or better leads – 50.8 percent;
- Triggers/sales alerts – 45.8 percent;
- Develop targeted lead generation messaging – 45.8 percent;
- Improve customer segmentation – 45.8 percent;
- Identify key stakeholders – 40.7 percent;
- Improve competitive differentiation strategies – 33.9 percent;
- Develop a perfect prospect profile – 33.9 percent; and
- Other – 5.1 percent.
In regard to the ability to prioritize accounts to focus selling efforts, 42.9 percent indicate that sales performance needs improvement. Nearly half (47.2 percent) indicate their sales performance “meets expectations” while 8.3 percent say their sales performance “exceeds expectations.”