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The Sales and Marketing Toolkit
Sales Performance Benchmarks

Optimizing sales performance continues to be a top goal for sales and marketing teams. To achieve this goal, one must truly understand the "levers" of sales performance and effectiveness—hiring, compensation, sales process, and forecasting, to name just a few.

We recently reviewed a copy of CSO Insights' Sales Performance Optimization—2008 Survey Results and Analysis for the most current sales performance benchmarks and an understanding of how they've changed over the last couple of years.

Some interesting sales performance benchmarks from the study of over 1500 firms, across all industries include:

1. Sales Hiring.

  • 64.7% of companies plan to increase the size of their sales team.

  • Hiring new "grads" with no sales experience just may pay off. Companies which most prefer hiring recent grads or professionals with no prior selling experience averaged 64% quota attainment, while companies that hire a majority of experienced sales reps within their industry averaged 62% attainment!

  • New hire ramp-up time is improving slightly: 26% have 3-6 month ramp-up, 42% have 6-12 month ramp-up.

GTMS Templates: Sales Training Manual, Orientation Checklist, Sales Team Evaluation, and Sales Person Interview Kit.

2. Sales Compensation.

  • Only 61.2% of sales reps are making or exceeding quotas (though this has been a year over year improvement, most companies build their budgets off a higher quota attainment--a key compensation mistake. No wonder attainment ofoverall company plan is <90%.)

  • 53.8% have quotas of $1M or less (30.6% have quotas <$500K; 23.2% have quotas $500k-$1M); 15.5% have quotas of $1M-$1.5M; 11.8% have quotas of $1.5M-$2.5M; 19% have quotas greater than $2.5M.

  • 46.9% of sales reps have 40% or more of their compensation in variable pay. 21.1% of sales reps have 26-40% of compensation in variable pay.

GTMS Template: Sales Compensation Plan

3. Sales Process.

  • 51.1% find opportunity qualification and research is in need of improvement.

  • Sales cycles are shortening slightly: 51.7% of sales cycles are more than 4 months, with 26.8% 4-6 months; 12.6% are between 7-9 months; and 12.3% are over 10 months.

  • 57.7% have an average deal size of under $50k.

  • Sales cycle require multiple calls: 1-5 calls (56.2%), 6+ calls (43.8%).

  • On average, actual selling time only represents 55.3% of a sales reps time. The remaining time is spent on miscellaneous admin and service tasks.

GTMS Template: Sales Process Template

4. Revenue Contribution and Forecasting.

  • 63.5% of revenue comes from existing business, while 36.5% comes from new business.

  • 63% of revenue is earned by top 20% of reps.

  • 55% have close rates of 50% or less; 26% have close rates of 50-75%.

  • Forecasting accuracy is still a proplem: 78.8% have less than 75% accuracy (53.8% have less than 50% accuracy).

  • 50% of leads are self-generated by sales, though marketing leads win rate is 3% higher than sales generated leads.

GTMS Template: Pipeline Management Tool

This insightful research, together with our many sales and marketing templates, can help you benchmark and improve your own sales performance.

Go-To-Market Strategies, Seattle WA + p: 425-743-1837 + f: 425-460-0076
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