Majority of Organizations Say Top-line Revenue Is “Increasing Slightly,” Salespeople Are Struggling to Find New Opportunities and Only Half Say They Expect to Make Their 2017 Number
Less than fifty percent made their 2016 sales quota last year in 2016. This is according to the results of the 2017 CustomerCentric Selling® (CCS®) index survey, referred to as the “CCS® Index”, uncovering key sales trends and behaviors across sales organizations.
A common trend across the last several years has been the admitted lack of skills practice by sellers (over half admit they do not practice their selling skills) and that many (fifty-three percent) continue to try and “wing it” with buyers rather than follow a process. Key findings of the Fall 2017 CCS® Index include:
- Overwhelming majority of respondents said their biggest sales challenge is finding new opportunities, yet forty-four percent say no prospecting plan is required to find new business.
- Of those that do have a prospecting plan, twenty-six percent say their prospecting plan is “Informal,” meaning it is recommended but not enforced.
- Cold calling continues to be the least effective method of prospecting, while referrals prove the most effective.
- A whopping eighty-five percent of respondents admit they rely on discounting to close business.
- Twenty-six percent of respondents said they do not have anyone responsible for Sales Enablement in their organization.
- Only seven percent say they are selected as the vendor of choice from unsolicited Request For Proposals (RFPs).
- Just fifty-three percent made their Q2 number this year, while only fifty-five percent expect to make their year-end target.
- Seventy-three percent of salespeople are considered to be average “B” and “C” Players.
- For the fourth straight year, the biggest concern for sellers going into the New Year is not having enough prospects in the pipeline.
On a more positive note, the majority of organizations say top-line revenue is “increasing slightly.”
“In light of these findings, I strongly encourage sales organizations to consider the dramatic changes in buying behavior that have occurred over the last two decades,” says John Holland, Chief Content Officer of CustomerCentric Selling®. Holland adds, “I believe vendors have been slow in responding to these changes and many still consider buyers as ‘a blank sheet of paper’ as relates to their needs. This is a horribly misguided assumption and will continue to yield disappointing results as the landscape continues to evolve.”
The CCS® Index gathered a tremendous amount of data from primarily sales and sales management across several industries, including software, high technology, manufacturing and financial services.