Sales Essentials Blog

What are the biggest sales issues & opportunities for CEOs & Sales Leaders?

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Research done by our parent company, Barrett, on Sales Strategy and Operations shows several emerging trends across businesses in the public, private and Not for Profit sectors.

Here are some of the findings:

The biggest sales issues facing CEOs & Sales Leaders today:

  1. No clarity, communication or consistency: regardless of industry, every business lacked clarity of purpose, strategy and roles; had very inconsistent or poor communication practices; and no consistency of sales processes, standards, tools or resources across their sales teams
  2. Complete disconnect between business strategy and sales strategy: most sales strategies were nothing more than a restructure of the sales team or a redesign of the sales incentive programme
  3. Lack of systems: not one organisation was running their sales team and sales operations like a system; instead there was a prevalence of short-termism with limited strategic intent and reactions to the marketplace
  4. Poor sales market segmentation: most businesses were confused, at best, about their sales market segments and, at worst, had no idea what market segments were
  5. Internally facing: the back end processes were not aligned to support the sales and customer service efforts. All the communications were based on internal processes and issues, and not necessarily important to the customer, or expressed in a way to make it relevant to them
  6. No alignment between sales and marketing: marketing and sales were not aligned at all
  7. No engagement across the business: selling and customers were not seen as a responsibility for the whole business to support, leading to disengagement and poor customer outcomes including retention.

The good news is that businesses don’t need to do anything too radical to improve. They need to lead their sales strategy and operations execution plan and tweak their sales systems and lead their teams with purpose.

The research also shows that less than half of the businesses that undergo a Sales Strategy and Operations Audit chose to execute their plans in full. The results and sustainable outcomes of those that did have been amazing including:

  • Quick turn-around in sales revenue and margin growth, winning more and better business with the right kinds of clients over the short and long term
  • More robust systems in place across the business that support the sales effort
  • Reduced turnover and higher retention rates of competent sales staff who want to stay and perform
  • Higher customer satisfaction, increased NPS (net promoter scores), more repeat business, etc.
  • Competent sales leaders leading and coaching their sales teams to better performance
  • Happier, more engaged employees and customers who are clear about why they are there, what they are accountable for and what their purpose is.

The biggest sales opportunities for CEOs & Sales Leaders today:

  1. Learn how to design and implement effective sales strategies that deliver real value and a sustainable competitive advantage within the framework of a valid and functioning sales operating system;
  2. Build an authentic client centric sales and service culture and reputation based on clear purpose and strategy; ethical, courageous and consistent leadership; sound values and principles that endorse trust, engagement, and commitment with employees and clients;
  3. Understand and work with sales market segments in concert with marketing;
  4. Support the development of sales and service mastery through ongoing dynamic education with codified practices, tools, templates and resources: online, infield, and in classroom; and
  5. Lead and run a business that aims to minimise execution risk and keep people accountable

Doing this leads to Clarity, effective Communication and Consistency across the board that builds Trust and Commitment and makes for far better sales outcomes.

Author: Sue Barrett, 


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