Sales Force Effectiveness : How the HR team can influence performance

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1 Sales Force Effectiveness : How the HR team can influence performance Steve Grossman, Chicago Fernando Pedó, São Paulo

2 Today s speakers Steve Grossman Chicago, IL, USA Fernando Pedó Sao Paulo, Brazil

3 Agenda for today s discussion Introduction The drivers of sales effectiveness Sales effectiveness framework Choosing key metrics Compensation levels in Latin America High performance and the sales manager Sales & HR partnership best practices Questions & wrap-up 2

4 The drivers of sales effectiveness

5 Mercer s sales performance framework Getting it right every day, every quarter, every year Customers drive the entire sales system Customer segmentation anchors the methodology and supporting elements The Inner Circle drives sales execution The right methodology with the right tools and process to provide the methodology to sell better The Outer Ring supports and enables Accelerate and sustain performance improvements through aligning key sales force enablers No single element is independent Short-term point solutions often result in short-term gains at the expense of sustainable improvement 4

6 Companies in most industries are migrating to higher level sales models, with more complex offerings Partnership/Alliance model Strategic, business-to-business relationship Doing business through multiple agreements Consultative model Complex products/services Functional integration of business processes Long-term relationships with customers Solution model Attempt to convert customers to preferred accounts Important to understand customer s needs Goal is repeat and referral business Transactional model Simple products/services Inventory management is essential Focus on high volume, multiple customers Product or price differentiation is key Executive suite Operational executives Department / Supervisory Management Purchasing & Administration 5

7 These sales models can help determine which metrics are appropriate Element Sales Model Transactional Solution Consultative Partnership/ Alliance Key elements of value proposition Feature, function, benefit Product cost Availability Product sets/bundles Operating costs Dependability Creativity Operating results Profitability Confidence, risk mgmt Competitive advantage Strategic positioning Shared goals Shared risks Sales focus Activities Products Programs Product sets Solutions Programs Diagnostics Advice/counsel Operations Programs Business strategy Organization integration Collaboration Resources Key sales skills Product knowledge Pricing Persistence Product knowledge Understands value Creativity to see alternatives Business skills & acumen Value creation Political skills Strategic thinker Leadership skills Project, resource & budget expertise Target contact Buyer, Anybody Department Manager Functional Head Senior Management Role of field sales management Supervision Recruiting Expense management Training Territory management Technical resource Relationships Goal setting Coach Opportunity mgmt Resource management Senior management relationships Strategist Coach N/A Key measures of performance Orders Revenue Gross Profit Number of accounts Sales to quota/growth Product and services sales Sales to quota/growth Account profitability Line expansion Packaged services Performance based agreements Profitability Value delivered, savings Pay timing Weekly/Monthly Monthly/Quarterly Quarterly/Semi-annually Annually 6

8 Question? What should be the compensation mix by model? Model Fixed Variable Transactional Solution Consultative Partnership/ Alliance 7

9 Question? Answers: Model Fixed Variable Transactional 0% 50% 50% 100% Solution 50% 70% 30% 50% Consultative 70% 80% 20% 30% Partnership/ Alliance 80% 100% 0% 20% 8

10 and help identify key drivers of performance FY 11 FY 10 - Customer churn + Customer acquisition Crossselling scale-back + - Customer + Upselling & expansion + Price increases = End of year revenue Beginning of year revenue Retention New sales Base business net growth (account management) Performance Drivers: Sales and sales management processes Organization structure Role profiles Compensation Recruiting and selection Segmentation Methodology, playbooks Account strategies/planning Training and Onboarding Communication Technology 9

11 The metrics for a sales incentive plan should be directly linked to the sales drivers that sales people can impact the most Illustrative example (consumer products industry) Strategic objectives that sales can impact Sales Drivers Advertising Trade spending (execution) Sales force impact (1 5 scale) Sample metrics? n/a? Trade spending vs. goal; trade spending/revenue Selling Selling entire entire product product mix mix Revenue Account relationships Product mix mix Pricing? Account market share? Revenue against goal by product; product share vs. target? Average price by product vs. goal Gaining Gaining brand brand awareness awareness Costs Trade spending ($ ($ amount) Forecasting Collections 5 Trade spending vs. budget 5 Forecasting accuracy 5 Days outstanding Product Mix Mix 3 See above 10

12 The metrics for a sales incentive plan should be directly linked to the sales drivers that sales people can impact the most Illustrative example (consumer products industry) Strategic objectives that sales can impact Sales drivers Advertising Trade spending (execution) Sales force impact (1 5 scale) Sample metrics 1 n/a 5 Trade spending vs. goal; trade spending/revenue Selling Selling entire entire product product mix mix Revenue Account relationships Product mix mix Pricing 5 Account market share 3 Revenue against goal by product; product share vs. target 3 Average price by product vs. goal Gaining Gaining brand brand awareness awareness Costs Trade spending ($ ($ amount) Forecasting Collections 5 Trade spending vs. budget 5 Forecasting accuracy 5 Days outstanding Product mix mix 3 See above 11

13 The example below shows the Typical Metrics in a Sales Comp Plan Metrics Sales rep incentive plan President s club Management processes Promotion process/ criteria Internal Ranking Manager incentive plan Sales/Gross profit ($/Growth) X Contribution margin ($) X Product sales X Account base X Industry vertical sales X Customer Loyalty X Sales skills X 12

14 The example below shows the differentiation of metrics across Total Rewards elements and level Metrics Sales rep incentive plan President s club Management processes Promotion process/ criteria Internal Ranking Manager incentive plan Sales/Gross profit ($/Growth) X X X X Contribution margin ($) X Product sales X X X X X Account base X Industry vertical sales X Customer Loyalty X X Sales skills X X 13

15 Mercer s research into key drivers of long term success for a sales effort focuses on the high performing sales manager Characteristics of high performing sales efforts Courage to change Courage to change Clear line of sight: Culture Strategy Employees Customers Front line sales managers Consistent execution of sales processes and training Rigorous management processes Courage to change Courage to change 14

16 The sales manager can coach and train his staff to attain target level performance Target level equates to 100% of plan 30 40% of sellers 60 70% of sellers Number of salespeople Bottom 10% of sellers Top 10% of sellers Threshold 100% Quota performance Excellence Performance level requiring minimal effort it is set based on historical performance or fixed costs Excellence level allows 10% of sellers to earn upside, it is usually set using historical data 15

17 The right people in these key sales manager roles will drive successs Future front line manager role Protect / expand customer relationships Develop the right skills and drive the right behaviors in sales people Engage, energize, motivate sales people Staffing levels Engaging and coaching the most critical job of the front line sales leader Drive discipline/use of sales processes, tools 16

18 In a recent time-allocation study of sales managers, those at the top quartile of performance spent the most time coaching Time Allocation of Sales Managers 100% 90% 8% 11% 7% 80% 70% 60% 37% 42% 53% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10% 0% 18% 15% 9% 13% 8% 8% 18% 15% 11% 10% 9% 8% Avg. bottom 25% Avg. middle 50% Avg. top 25% Non-Sales Administration Performance management Planning Coaching Sales calls High performing Sales Managers spend more time coaching 17

19 Survey results from high performing Sales Managers are very different than those from the field overall Selected survey responses Top and solid performers Strongly disagree Strongly agree Solid performers Top performers I am empowered to make business decisions in the field My manager is empowered to make business decisions in the field Co. always communicates the reasoning behind business decisions The criteria for promotion to the next level is fair The process for promotion to the next level is fair The pay beyond target performance is worth the additional effort The crediting process encourages sales people to work together all the time The pay that managers can earn beyond target performance is worth the additional effort Solid performers Top performers 18

20 Connecting sales force engagement and customer loyalty to drive more predictable results Sales force engagement? Customer loyalty 19

21 The Sales Manager can connect sales force engagement and customer loyalty Sales force engagement Customer loyalty Key drivers of engagement Executive trust, direction/goals, communication Sales Manager trust, confidence, coaching Alignment of personal and organization goals, culture Sales Manager Key drivers of loyalty Expertise Integrity Responsiveness Value Understanding to drive more stable and predictable sales results 20

22 Construction Products Manufacturing Co. Review of sales strategy and Sales Manager role Situation Leading construction products manufacturer with significant sales operations in the United States and Latin America The client s sales force provides technical expertise and product support during construction projects Leadership wanted to shift the focus from finding additional customers to increasing share of wallet at existing customers In an effort to focus their sales force, the company segmented their sales force by industry and increased emphasis on specific products In addition, the company recognized the need to align pay and performance to more appropriately reward top performers in the context of their current business strategy Key Findings $10MM in incentive compensation was spent on a metric that sales reps did not believe they could influence and was not found to drive any behavior in the field Pay and performance data analysis found that the difference in incentive payouts to top-performers and average-performers was only 25% Weak Sales Management processes Changes Developed an incentive plan that focused the sales force on customer penetration to increase share of wallet at existing customers Strengthened the link between pay and performance Segmented the client s sales effort so that high-performing, experienced sales reps focused on the top 20% of customers 21

23 HR helped sales manage the compensation cost of sales for Reps Rep Level Cost of sales Rep total cost / sales 120% 100% 80% 60% 40% 20% Compensation cost of sales % % % % Total 14.7% Potential Cost of sales Top 2.0% 6.0% 0% $0.0M $1.0M $2.0M $3.0M $4.0M $5.0M $6.0M Territory size (Sales $) Mid 20.0% 32.0% Small 40.0% 22

24 Additionally, HR helped sales define a better career progression Illustrative Relative pay levels Sales Manager II Regional Manager Zone Manager Sales Rep II Sales Manager I Sales Rep I Inside Sales Rep Customer Service Rep 23

25 Sales & HR partnership: Current state

26 Finding the secret to successful partnerships between Sales & HR Mercer interviewed 50 sales executives and 50 HR executives at Fortune 1000 companies The following questions were asked What is the current state of the partnership between the Sales and Human Resource functions? What are the key barriers to forming a strong partnership between HR and Sales? What are the successful companies doing differently from others to overcome these barriers? How can HR begin to build lasting strategic relationships with Sales? Mercer compared responses from Strategic Partner companies with those from Basic Support companies to determine best practices We observed three recurring themes among organizations with strong strategic partnership between HR and Sales; they: 1. Collaborate frequently on key business issues 2. Dedicate HR resources to Sales 3. Hire/develop a wider set of skills 25

27 Frequency of key support activities Percentage of Sales citing HR support Recruit and hire salespeople Design compensation plans Administer compensation plans Identify key skills or competencies 86% 78% 72% 70% Manage change Assist with organization design Coach executives or managers Provide non-cash incentive programs Identify best practices Train salespeople Benchmark salesperson performance 56% 56% 54% 52% 48% 48% 34% n=50 26

28 Best practice Collaborate frequently on key business issues Always 5 Frequency with which Sales and HR collaborate on business issues Never 1 Strategic partner Support function n=50 27

29 The end game: To provide more (and more valuable) support Administer compensation plans Recruit and hire salespeople Design compensation plans Identify key skills or competencies Assist with organization design Identify best practices Manage change Coach executives or managers Provide non-cash incentives programs Benchmark salesperson performance Strategic partner Support function Train 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% n=50 28

30 Furthermore, HR can analyze historic performance distribution levels to determine the appropriate threshold, target, and excellence levels Target level equates to 100% of plan 30 40% of sellers 60 70% of sellers Number of salespeople Bottom 10% of sellers Top 10% of sellers Threshold 100% Quota performance Excellence Performance level requiring minimal effort it is set based on historical performance or fixed costs Excellence level allows 10% of sellers to earn upside, it is usually set using historical data 29

31 Understanding current and desired time allocation of sale roles can help HR design incentive plans to promote the right activities 100% Sales Rep time allocation 90% 80% 70% 60% Sales calls, 18% Prosp. CF, 30% Sales calls, 28% GOAL: Spend 33% more time on sales calls and customerfacing prospecting 50% Prosp. CF, 36% 40% Prosp. Admin/ Non-CF, 22% 30% 20% Sales prep., 12% Prosp. Admin/ Non-CF, 12% Sales prep., 6% 10% Non-sales, 18% Non-sales, 18% 0% Current state Future state 30

32 Key takeaways

33 Key takeaways Strategic Partner HR executives: 1. Collaborate with Sales on key business issues High sales force turnover Scarcity of qualified talent Long ramp-up times for new hires Career progression Antiquated selling skills Misaligned or unclear roles and responsibilities 2. Commit dedicated resources to specifically support the sales force 3. Train their staff to perform different types of tasks For this, they receive: 1. Greater esteem from their Sales counterparts 2. Richer and more value-added relationships with Sales 32

34 Questions

35

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