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Making the Number: How to Use Sales Benchmarking to Drive Performance Hardcover – Bargain Price, October 16, 2008

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Hardcover, Bargain Price, October 16, 2008
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About the Author

Greg Alexander, coauthor of Topgrading for Sales, is the cofounder and CEO of Sales Benchmark Index. He is also president of the Atlanta chapter of Sales & Marketing Executives International and was named Sales and Marketing magazine’s 2004 sales manager of the year.

Aaron Bartels and Mike Drapeau are cofounders and Executive Vice Presidents of Sales Benchmark Index.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Portfolio Hardcover (October 16, 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 1591842174
  • ASIN: B002ACPM72
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 5.9 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,232,275 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

What does Greg Alexander do?

Greg serves as CEO of Sales Benchmark Index (SBI). He helps B2B companies "make the number."

What is Sales Benchmark Index?

SBI is a sales and marketing consultancy focused exclusively on helping B2B companies exceed their revenue targets.

How does SBI Work?

The firm uses the benchmarking method to help companies accelerate their rate of revenue growth. Benchmarking allows the firm's clients to get access to and implement best practices from the top sales and marketing organizations.

Proof Points:

* SBI's client roster is composed of some of the world's most respected companies. For a partial list, go here:

* The biographies of the SBI team demonstrate they have walked in your shoes. Each member of the team came from industry and had to "make the number" to be successful. For a partial list of team biographies, go here:

* The methodologies used by SBI are evidenced-based. SBI implements solutions after they have been verified with before and after comparison data. For a partial list of our methodologies, go here:

* SBI is an execution-based firm. SBI assists our clients with the implementation of the strategies developed. For a case study, go here:

* Field adoption of SBI's recommendations happens. No shelf-ware. For a partial list of client testimonials, go here:

Customer Reviews

3.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Serge J. Van Steenkiste on December 20, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Greg Alexander, Aaron Bartels, and Mike Drapeau oversell their company through their book about sales benchmarking to the annoyance of their audience. They implausibly claim that they alone have developed what they call a complete taxonomy for sales benchmarking (p. 74). Furthermore, Messrs. Alexander, Bartels, and Drapeau seem to give the impression that salespeople are not held accountable unlike the other functions within a company. Corporate America will probably disagree with this statement. In addition, the examples provided are of limited use because of their generality. Finally, the authors sometimes contradict themselves. For example, they recognize that "benchmarking's applicability to the sales profession ... is still undetermined (p. 204)." Four pages later, readers get the advice: "Play the odds and bet on something predictable, dependable, and proven - sales benchmarking (p. 208)." Another four pages down in the same chapter, readers can read to their amazement: "Today ... sales benchmarking is rarely deployed (p. 212)." To summarize, the book under review is another example of a business book that could be reduced to a 10-page article to be read in a business publication.
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Format: Hardcover
This is an excellent book for any manager and executive (or even any salesperson) concerned with the performance of their sales organization. The authors show you why benchmarking your sales team is important and can be a powerful tool in helping you not only understand the hows and whys of your team's performance, but on where your team needs to go and how to get there.

The book comes in five sections: Section one discusses what sales really is and all that is involved. You are also reminded about the importance of your customers and the experience you provide for them. I think you will also enjoy the chapters on what improving sales performance provides for executives and the individual salesperson. You are then introduced to what benchmarking is and the basics of what it involves.

Section two discusses what you need to do benchmarking for your sales team. The authors also take you through processes sales, strategic sales, and best practices. A chapter discusses why you want to be a world class sales team and another shows you what a self-aware sales team looks like and how it functions.

Section three shows you the five steps to making your benchmarking effective. They are getting the right metrics, collecting the right data, comparing and contrasting your team to those you are benchmarking against, deciding on focused action, and sustaining your efforts at improvement. Section four provides a call to action and shows you how to overcome objections to benchmarking, how to overcome implementation difficulties, and how to move forward with your benchmarking plans. Section five provides five case studies that illustrate the various points made in the text.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Rolf Dobelli HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on April 27, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Forget any fears of math or statistics that may still linger from your days in school. Sales benchmarking is a powerful tool that requires much less math and IT than you might expect. It yields hard numbers that show precisely how well you are competing, what gaps you need to close, how to create more value for your customers and how to improve your sales team's results. Greg Alexander, Aaron Bartels and Mike Drapeau provide a very readable explanation of what kind of tool sales benchmarking is, how to prepare to implement it, how to use it for fun and profit, and how to overcome common implementation difficulties. Although the authors are sales benchmarking consultants, their book does not read like self-promotion. getAbstract finds that they provide solid, helpful information as they explain the practical uses of sales benchmarking.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Reg Nordman on October 27, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This book should take sales from Art to Science. This is a very comprehensive work which any sales manager looking to make a difference in the next 10 years, should read and start to implement. If you are also looking at top grading for sales, then this is a book you will need to learn from. The authors website has published a list of sample data to help you get started on benchmarking. Its illuminating to see where some of the "top" 100 companies actually come out.

They do a good job of isolating the various dependencies in sales.

1. Industry segment
2. Geographical areas
3. Sales channels
4. Sales force organization
5. Public, private, NGO
6. History.

Then they give a sample of data required in each category of sales such as:

1. Account planning - churn rate, lifetime value, customer share
2. Budgeting - break-even, gap to goal, net income/rep, return on sales
3. Channel - Outside sales contribution, outbound lead ration
4. Comp- sales quota attainment, total available income, variable comp rates
5. Expense - cost of advertising, cost of marketing, cost of sales, cost per rep.
6. management - Sales quota/sale, sales productivity/rep, forecast accuracy, pipeline ratio
7. methods - sales activities to close sale, sales cycle length, deal size
8. staff - ramp time to full productivity, sales rep/manager ratio, sales rep/ sales support ratio
9. talent - turnover rate, interview pool needed, sourcing pool needed, time to backfill a rep
10. infrastructure - sales growth rate, CRM/SFA utilization, lead source utilization, mobile utilization
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