Sales Management: benchmark you business

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During the past three weeks I have visited three partner organizations, each of varying sizes in revenue, products/services offered and operational effectiveness. I also had a wonderful conversation with a fourth organization discussing new hire on-boarding issues, profitability and lead management. All of these organizations had issues in common, unique challenges and various management frustrations. One of the great opportunities I have had over the past 20+ years is to work with, speak to and consult with hundreds of organizations. This experience has provided me a great level of knowledge on which to base my consulting recommendations and to create the variety of tools that are used by thousands of individuals.

Because of this physical experience, one of the fundamental recommendations I make to clients and non clients alike is to physically visit other organizations and actually view how other companies operate. This is called: Benchmarking’ or as the definition states: a point of reference for a measurement. There are many executive peer groups where individuals meet and discuss common business challenges, hold each other accountable and some even compare financial metrics. In some peer group situations business leaders are from the same industry and some groups are made up of general business leaders. All of these kinds of groups are excellent sources of information. Our own Sales Management Board of Advisors program is similar, with the unique concept that the Boards are made up of individuals who are focused on sales management issues, i.e. sales managers, sales directors and VP’s of Sales. While all of these groups share information and learning is accomplished, the challenge that most of these groups cannot achieve is to help the participants truly understand “how” someone else’s business operates.

I like to recommend that at least once a year, the management team from an organization visit on site another company and spend the day with on site management team and operations staff at their “benchmarking” company. During the onsite visit, you will actually see how other organizations physically managed their CRM systems, train salespeople, deliver their solutions and how their office is actually physically organized. You generally can’t get this hands on viewpoint simply having executives speaking to each other at conferences or meeting in a group environment. Obviously you will see both the goods and bad’s during these events; this is the important aspect of the onsite benchmark meeting. The agenda and key topics to be covered during must be carefully planned. These events should be coordinated with a group meeting at the beginning of the day, with one on one manger shadowing during the day, with a group wrap up session at the end of the day where everyone can share their findings. While the investment can be large, the payoff will be huge. In every session we have coordinated both organizations have benefited from the experience. Openness and an attitude of sharing are critical.

Your challenge for the next five months, find your “point of measurement” and dare to compare. It will make your business planning for 2012 a real experience.

Acumen Management Group Ltd. “operationalizes” sales management systems and processes that pull revenue out of the doldrums into the fresh zone. During the past 12 years, our consulting, advisory, and platform services have illuminated, motivated, and rejuvenated the sales efforts for partners throughout North America. Move up and move ahead!

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Ken Thoreson
Acumen Management Group Ltd. "operationalizes" sales management systems and processes that pull revenue out of the doldrums into the fresh zone. During the past 13 years, our consulting, advisory, and platform services have illuminated, motivated, and rejuvenated the sales efforts for organizations throughout North America.

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