- Hardcover: 272 pages
- Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education; 1 edition (October 11, 2011)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0071765735
- ISBN-13: 978-0071765732
- Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 1 x 8.8 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 94 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #16,668 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Cracking the Sales Management Code: The Secrets to Measuring and Managing Sales Performance Hardcover – October 11, 2011
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From the Inside Flap
There are literally thousands of books on selling, coaching, and leadership, but what about the particulars of managing a sales force. Where are the frameworks, metrics, and best practices to help you succeed?
Based on extensive research into how world-class companies measure and manage their sales forces, Cracking the Sales Management Code is the first operating manual for sales management. In it you will discover:
- The 5 critical processes that drive sales performance
- How to choose the right processes for your own team
- The 3 levels of sales metrics you must collect
- Which metrics you can 'manage' and which you can't
- How to prioritize conflicting sales objectives
- How to align seller activities with business results
- How to use CRM to improve the impact of coaching
Cracking the Sales Management Code fills that void by providing foundational knowledge about how the sales force works. It reveals the gears and levers that actually control sales results. It will add clarity to things that you intuitively know and provide insight into things that you don't. It will change the way you manage your sellers from day to day, as well as the results you get from year to year.
From the Back Cover
"There's an acute shortage of good books on the specifics of sales management. Cracking the Sales Management Code is about the practical specifics of sales management in the new era, and it fills a void."
From the Foreword by Neil Rackham
"Sales may be an art, but sales management is a science. Cracking the Sales Management Code reveals that science and gives practical steps to identify the metrics you must measure to manage toward success."
Arthur Dorfman, National Vice President, SAP
"There are things that can be managed in a sales force, and there are things that cannot. Too often sales management doesn't see the difference. This book is invaluable because it reveals the manageable activities that actually drive sales results."
John Davis, Vice President, St. Jude Medical
"The authors correctly assert that the proliferation of management reporting has created a false sense of control for sales executives. Real control is derived from clear direction to the field, and this book tells how do to that in an easy-to understand, actionable manner."
Michael R. Jenkins, Signature Client Vice President, AT&T Global Enterprise Solutions
"When it comes to sales management, there is very little innovative thinking on the topic. Cracking the Sales Management Code is a must-read for anyone wanting to bring their sales management team into the 21st century."
Mike Nathe, Senior Vice President, Essilor Laboratories of America
"Cracking the Sales Management Code is one of the most important resources available on effective sales management. Its clear, credible, and reasoned insights provide a compelling blueprint for sales force improvement, and should be required reading for every sales leader."
Bob Kelly, Chairman, The Sales Management Association
"Sales management too often equates measuring sales performance with managing it. This book cleverly pulls the two apart and illustrates how to manage the activities that lead to desired outcomes. The result is a must-read for managers who want to focus their attention to have a greater impact on sales force performance."
James Lattin, Robert A. Magowan Professor of Marketing, Graduate School of Business, Stanford University
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b. Value of weighted pipeline
c. Customer satisfaction
Step 2: Choose the sales process(es) and associated Sales Objectives most likely to help salespeople in distinct selling roles achieve their desired business results. Processes include:
(note: MCO = market coverage objective; SFO=sales force capability objective; CFO = customer focus objective; PFO = product focus objective)
1) Territory management process (when you do not have time to adequately make proactive outbound calls to every prospect and customer in your territory)
a) Percentage of market opportunity covered [MCO]
b) Percentage of target accounts contacted [MCO]
c) Revenue from new customers [CFO]
2) Account management process (when you mainly pursue multiple deals over time with a smaller set of individual customers)
a) Percentage of customers called [MCO]
b) Revenue growth in existing customers [CFO]
c) Customer retention rate [CFO]
3) Opportunity management process (when individual sales are complex and involve multiple calls)
a) Deal win/loss ratio [SFO]
b) Length of sales cycle [SFO]
c) Average deal size [CFO]
d) Revenue by product [PFO]
4) Call management: process (to improve the effectiveness of individual customer interactions when individual calls can greatly affect the outcome of the deal)
a) Number of meetings held [SFO]
5) Sales force enablement processes
a) Time to productivity [MCO]
b) Undesirable attrition rate [MCO]
c) Sales person skill/competency index [SFO]
Step 3: Select the Activities to manage day-to-day to ensure you (directly) meet the chosen objectives:
(note: many Activities directly impact multiple Sales Objectives)
1) Territory management (note: usually done by sales operations)
a) Number of accounts per rep
b) Number of calls made per account per rep
2) Account management
a) Account plan usage (remember to involve customers in the process!)
b) Number of interactions per account (ex: calls scheduled 120 days before renewal)
3) Opportunity management
a) Adherence to opportunity planning process (relatively unused)
b) Utilization of proof-of-concept resources such as engineers or executives
4) Call Management
a) Call plan usage (relatively unused) – esp. objective, opening, buyer motivation, questions to ask, objections to handle, etc.
b) Number of calls logged in CRM
5) Sales force enablement (note: usually done by sales operations)
a) Training investment per FTE
b) Number of reps per manager
c) Frequency and quality of coaching (ex: via periodic surveys of reps)
More great insights:
1) Sales success depends on the caliber of first-line managers who should be continuous improvement experts, rigorously tracking progress against the goals they set. They control Activities to help (directly) meet Sales Objectives which in turn drive desirable (but wholly unmanageable) Business Results. Hence, training and enablement are more important for sales managers than they are for salespeople.
2) “The specific sales processes you need in your sales force are determined by the nature of each individual selling role.” “Generally speaking, we see a trend toward sales forces having a greater number of more specialized selling roles. Management long ago began to separate “hunters” from “farmers,” but the number of boxes on the frontline org chart continues to grow. From industry specialists, to product experts, to sellers who serve niche markets, the roles we find in sales forces are becoming more diverse in nature and more narrow in scope. This not only makes the seller’s tasks easier to master, it also reduces the management challenge of hiring, developing, measuring, and compensating complex roles.”
3) “If your salespeople are being asked to do too much, it’s quite possible that they’re really doing too little.”
4) “If you don’t support your desired behavioral changes with new metrics, tools, and skills to reinforce and measure the change, your sales force will quickly revert to its previous state.”
5) “Our own approach to change management can be best described as comprehensively minimalist.” “you must focus your efforts on the critical few Sales Activities that will directly affect your Sales Objectives and Business Results.”
6) “Assign quantitative values to your A-O-Rs.”
7) “Sales force metrics should be reported on a need-to-know basis.”
I could cite endless examples why, and will share a few, but the primary reason is the message they deliver about the under-developed yet critical sales function ("under-developed" is my term, meaning that the management model and business practices haven't evolved and matured to the degree that other disciplines have), and the largely overlooked and mismanaged role of frontline sales manager. It mirrors much of my own experiences over the past 25 years and I often found myself nodding my head or cheering to myself at many parts of the book.
Think those are some strong statements? Ask yourself these questions:
- What criteria is used in most organizations for promotion from sales rep to sales manager? (Most often, it's great sales results with the very best sales reps being promoted into roles for which they don't have the competencies.)
- How often do sales managers receive practical, helpful training and reinforcement on how to be a great sales manager?
- What training do most sales managers receive on interpreting selection assessments, conducting behavioral interviews, running and judging sales simulations, or utilizing other great hiring/selection methods?
- When was the last time you saw sales managers trained on exactly what their reps were being trained on, before the reps were trained?
- How do you use sales managers to reinforce and support rep training, to ensure new skills transfer from the learning environment to the real-world?
- What training exists to help new sales managers read and diagnose organizational reporting, to understand what activity or skills gaps might exist in their reps/team?
- How are most sales managers taught to diagnose the root causes of underperformance, once the reporting highlights an issue, and to close the gap and solve the root cause?
- What diagnostic or coaching models are commonly taught to sales managers? And are those same models used in their development as well?
Sure, some organizations have great answers to these questions. But let's be honest... many don't. What's odd and sad, is that when you discuss these things around a conference table, everyone always nods their head, like they're great ideas. But so few seem to be executing well to elevate the role of sales manager and drive growth through them. In the book, one of the headings says it very plainly. "It's the Sales Manager, Stupid." Frontline sales managers are the key to real sales performance growth and rep success. Cracking this code, for your organization, is simply vital to maximizing sales efforts.
In the rest of the book, the authors take you on the journey they made while cracking the code through their research and work with clients. Their cogent explanation and differentiation between Business Results, Sales Objectives and Sales Activities made me cheer. Their Building Blocks of Control laid the foundation for the oft-cited but rarely-implemented "accountability." Their Troubleshooting Guide is a great job aid/performance support tool to help you keep in all in mind. And the book contains one the best collection of possible sales metrics, organized by type, that I've seen in print. I truly enjoyed this one and recommend it highly.
I should also offer that the forward by Neil Rackham, while only a handful of pages, is worth the price of the book, in itself. This is not to diminish the detailed, clear and insightful work of the authors, but Rackham added some great value and clarity, right out of the box. The authors continued that trend, straight to the end.
Buy the book and read it. You won't regret it. And use it as the fuel to start a relentless focus on building logical and data-driven methods, systems, processes, resources and tools to develop and support sales management, to drive growth and sales success in your organization. Crack the code, and grow your company. It's the Sales Manager, Stupid. ;-)