CSO Insights and Miller Heiman Group Releases 2019 World-Class Sales Practices Study: “All that Glitters is Not Gold”


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Biennial report finds increase in revenue and quota attainment despite low adherence to many sales best practices, suggests economic growth driving sales performance rather than sales transformation initiatives

CHICAGO – June 24, 2019 – CSO Insights, the research division of Miller Heiman Group, the world leader in improving sales performance through training, technology, consulting and research, today announces the release of its “2019 World-Class Sales Practices Study: All that Glitters is Not Gold.”

Based on a global survey of more than 900 sales leaders, the study takes a closer look at the 12 best practices that correlate most strongly with sales performance. The report includes practical advice on how organizations can lessen the impact of economic changes on sales performance down the road.

In the last two years, many sales organizations increased quota attainment and revenue, with revenue plan attainment up 7% and quota attainment up 7% since 2017. However, adherence to many sales best practices remains low and leading indicators such as seller retention, customer retention and customer relationships are in decline.

According to Seleste Lunsford, chief research officer of CSO Insights, the research division of Miller Heiman Group, sales leaders need to dig beneath the surface to understand what’s really going on. “Taken at face value, this year’s numbers appear promising. Sales organizations have increased revenue attainment for the third consecutive year. And for the first time in two years, sales teams are making their numbers, with the percentage of sellers earning quota increasing to 56.9%, from a record low two years ago.

“But these findings aren’t telling the whole story,” she adds. “Half of the deals that are forecasted to close don’t. Customer retention has decreased as seller attrition increases. These indicators suggest strong economic growth is the variable that powers sales organizations. However, to achieve long-term world-class status, sales organizations need to apply greater focus to sales transformation initiatives.”

Building a unified sales system that encompasses strategy, customer engagement and performance support is a work in progress as cross-functional teams define and redefine their approach. But it remains a priority — buyers demand value and want to work with organizations that can see beyond the deal. Collaborative teams that go further down the customer’s path to determine how the customer uses their products and services add greater value throughout the engagement.

“This year’s list of the ‘Top 12 World-Class Sales Practices’ provides a comprehensive set of guidelines for organizations that are looking to insulate their sales performance from changing economic conditions,” says Lunsford. “Using these proven strategies, today’s sellers will be ready to win tomorrow’s opportunities, despite changes in the global economic landscape.”

To download the full report, please visit:

To learn more about Miller Heiman Group, please visit: https://www.millerheimangroup.com/

About CSO Insights

CSO Insights is the research division of Miller Heiman Group, Inc., dedicated to improving the performance and productivity of complex B2B sales. The CSO Insights team of respected analysts provides sales leaders with the research, data, expertise, and best practices required to build sustainable strategies for sales performance improvement. CSO Insights’ annual sales effectiveness studies, along with its benchmarking capabilities, are industry standards for sales leaders seeking operational and behavioral insights into how to improve their sales performance and to gain holistic assessments of their selling and sales management efficacy. Annual research studies address sales and service best practices, sales enablement and sales performance optimization. For more information, visit www.csoinsights.com.

About Miller Heiman Group

Miller Heiman Group, Inc., is the global leader in providing organizations sales methodology plus sales technology to drive revenue and change business outcomes. The company’s training, consulting, technology and research solutions align process, people, tools, data and analytics to prepare sales and service organizations for the future of selling. For more information, visit https://www.millerheimangroup.com.

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