We’ve moved now into the final quarter of the year, your performance against your 2011 plan hasn’t been stellar. One fact we know today, the average tenure for a CSO is 19 months.  It’s easy to come up with all the reasons or excuses you didn’t achieve your sales targets.  Now is the time to objectively and meticulously analyze what happened.  One thing you know for sure, your CEO’s evaluation of you is going to be based on the facts.


Our work with CEOs has revealed they use 3 lenses to evaluate: Company, Customer and Competitor.


sales strategy consumer company competition


Lets’ examine them:


1. Company –  Sales Performance Data:

Marketing and Sales Pipeline performance, by stage, in 2011 vs. 2010. This includes the quantity of new inquiries, new leads, and sales opportunities. It also includes the conversion rate for each stage in this process – meaning converting from an inquiry, to a lead, and ultimately to an opportunity.


A few other factors used to evaluate company are:


a. Change in length of sales cycle
b. Change is average deal size
c. Win/Loss Analysis for the last 12 months


2.   Customer Analysis

Has your Ideal Customer Profile changed?  Evaluate the global factors in the economy that have impacted your ability to achieve.  Compare the data showing current buying trends, reduction in purchasing, budget reductions, or “freezes” and its impact against your ICP.


a. Financial influence of your current customers vs. target customers


i. Change in decision maker
ii. Change in spending habits
iii. Length of sales cycle
iv. Additional parties to buying decision team


3.  Competitor Analysis

Compare your performance to your competitors during the same time frame.  This sets a benchmark and anchor point for comparison and analysis.


a. What percentage change did you experience versus your competitors?


i. Market share change
ii. Net new customer acquisition
iii. Retention rate of current customer base


b. What change did you see in the financial performance versus your competitors?


i. Cost of new customer acquisition
ii. Cost of Sale
iii. Cost of Sales & Marketing as % of Revenue
iv. Net Revenue per head
v. Profit Margin


c. Investor analysis highlighting new strategic shift impacting your opportunities to penetrate

Historical performance is just that – historical.  Your CEO’s decision about your fate will be based upon: “tell me what you’re going to do now to improve our future performance.’”
This is the part that will determine your longevity.  How are you planning to take your prior performance and create a data & fact based sales strategy for performance improvement? CSO’s average tenure last 19 months because they “thrash” around without a clearly set sales strategy.  You will succeed for much longer than this if you break that mold.


What to do:


  1. Create a detailed historical view of your performance against: Company, Customer and Competitor using the criteria above.
  2. Build a winning plan in 2012 supported by data, world class best practices and analytics that can be supported.


Worried about “thrashing” around, or not having a winning 2012 Sales Strategy- there’s still time to participate in the Designing Your Sales Strategy for 2012 research tour. Sign up today.


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