Sales Targets Are Missed by More Than Half the Sales Team in 50% of Companies Globally: TAS Index Global Study

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– The TAS Group, the world leader in sales effectiveness solutions, today released results of its TAS Index Global Sales Effectiveness Benchmark Study 2007, which shows that in 50% of companies globally, less than half of the sales team achieves its sales targets.

In addition, the report notes that American salespeople lack deal-closing skills compared to their European and Asian counterparts. It also finds that sales management and sales reps have widely differing perspectives on what’s working and what’s broken, salespeople employing sales methodologies perform much better than those who don’t, notes which industries have the most effective sales teams – and which are the worst, and more.

The TAS Index ™ is a global barometer of sales productivity and effectiveness. The TAS Index Global Sales Effectiveness Benchmark Study 2007 helps sales leaders determine the absolute and relative effectiveness of their sales organizations. See today’s other announcement, The TAS Group Introduces TAS Index: First Global Sales Effectiveness Benchmark System.

The TAS Index is being made available to companies at no cost at www.tasindex2007.com

Not Making Quota
According to the study, more than 50% of companies say that less than 50% of their salespeople make quota. Based upon this figure, it would appear that an enormous number of organizations are experiencing severe sales challenges.

“Sales is the engine that drives the economy, and clearly sales people are hired to make quota. The number of companies where this is not happening is quite staggering when you consider the associated expense and missed opportunity,” said Donal Daly, CEO of The TAS Group. “With this degree of inherent uncertainty in their sales organizations it’s understandable that it can be hard for public companies to accurately forecast their revenues and actual results. However, companies can look to the underlying principles of the TAS Index to see how they might solve this important problem to achieve more predictable, profitable and consistent sales numbers.”

“The primary purpose of the TAS Index is to create a benchmark against which sales leaders, CEOs, CFOs, or other stakeholders can measure the performance of their company,” said Daly. “Based on the strong correlation between a company’s TAS Index score and quota achievement, we see strong value in organizations taking the survey and reviewing results within sales team members. Moreover, by doing so, they can uncover the relative strengths and weaknesses of their sales effectiveness within their own organizations.”

American Effectiveness vs. Europeans, Asians
While European salespeople scored similarly to Americans in terms of sales effectiveness (6.41 versus 6.35), they appear better at generating sales opportunities, deal close rates and maximizing value creation in those deals. American reps, however, are better at managing the sales cycle. Compared to their counterparts in Europe and Asia Pacific, Americans seem to be worse at closing deals, supporting their channel partners and disseminating a standard sales process throughout their sales organization.

On the other hand, it would appear that European and Asian salespeople could learn a few things from their American colleagues when it comes to integrating the sales organization with the rest of the company. The report indicates that the Americans seem to have better alignment with marketing and the overall company strategy and are better at describing the value a company has to offer.

The top three things Europeans could teach Americans are defining the sales process, supporting channel partners and dealing effectively with competition. Asian salespeople, on the other hand, seem to the best in the world at qualifying sales opportunities, leveraging sales management for coaching rather than just chasing the sales team for details and maximizing the value from each customer.

Different Perspectives of Sales Management and Sales Reps
According to the study, the different perspectives of individual sales people and that of sales management can lead to sub-optimal sales effectiveness and immediate improvement opportunities. Nearly three out of four (72%) sales managers believe that their sales process is well defined, while nearly 50% less, just two out four (56%) of sales reps believe this is so. In addition, 48% of sales managers think they spend their time coaching (not chasing the reps for updates), while just 34% of reps agree. Conversely, 58% of reps believe they close deals when originally forecasted, while only 46% of managers agree. And 53% of reps believe they are effective at maximizing return from existing accounts, versus only 42% of managers.

“Where there is a misalignment between the sales force and sales leadership, there is usually a tremendous opportunity for quick improvement. Clearly sales management and sales reps don’t always have the same objectives – but it’s important that they see the world in the same way and pull in the same direction,” said Donal Daly, CEO of The TAS Group. “The challenge is to enable sales management to help the sales individuals rather than just manage. When considering sales management systems or procedures, a focus on answering the ‘What’s in it for me?’ question from the reps can deliver uncommon alignment and productivity. The alternative is not pretty and results in deals being lost, money being left on the table and increased turnover in the sales force.”

Methodology Usage and Related Sales Effectiveness
The study showed that companies that use a sales methodology more than half the time do much better than those that don’t. In fact, among those salespeople, the number of people who make quota is 50% higher than those who don’t and the percent of sales proposals resulting in a sale is 77% higher. Strikingly, sales force turnover is lower by 39% when methodology usage is high. This has a really significant impact on a company’s cost and sales effectiveness as the average time taken for a sales person to ramp up to full productivity is more than three months in 83% of cases and more than six months in 50% of companies.

Top, Least Effective Sales By Industry
Salespeople surveyed were largely from the financial services, insurance, high-tech, medical devices/pharmaceutical, consumables and food and communications industries. Within these segments, sales people from financial services ranked best (7.1), while insurance salespeople ranked last (5.1) in effectiveness.

To get more details on the TAS Index or to participate in the ongoing study and obtain results for themselves at no cost, interested parties should visit www.tasindex2007.com.

About The TAS Index (www.tasindex2007.com)
The TAS Index ™ is a global barometer of sales productivity and effectiveness. The TAS Index Global Sales Effectiveness Benchmark Study 2007 helps sales leaders determine the absolute and relative effectiveness of their sales organizations. The questions that formed the basis of the index were designed to act as a guide to examine the key challenges for their sales organizations in 2007, how to improve sales productivity, how to assess their CRM systems, sales process and sales methodology, and to evaluate the sales velocity of their sales organizations.

About The TAS Group (www.thetasgroup.com)
The TAS Group helps companies achieve predictable, profitable and consistent revenue growth through the combination of knowledge, technology and experience. The TAS Group has helped over 400,000 sales professionals succeed. Through the Intelligent Sales Effectiveness Platform™ The TAS Group integrates proven sales methodologies with Dealmaker – the most advanced technology platform for sales effectiveness. The TAS Group is fundamentally changing how companies achieve sales effectiveness through sales methodologies and sales training by encapsulating 16 years’ of knowledge and experience in the Dealmaker technology platform to increase sales – predictably, profitability and consistently. The company is headquartered in Seattle, with international headquarters in Dublin, Ireland

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