How Do You Know When You Have a Successful Sales Organisation?

Recently a Sales Manager, an HR Manager and I were discussing the lack of productivity of their sales force. They were not making their numbers, and not unexpectedly, they blamed the sales force who were described as lazy, not motivated, etc. etc, etc. They needed two things, I was told. They needed to be trained in negotiating skills and they needed to learn how to meet sales targets even though pricing was at times uncompetitive.

It was still early in the sales call (initiated by them) and while they had a clear idea of what they thought the problem was, I wondered what unrecognised needs they had, and what were the implications of these unknown needs. I needed to frame a few Problem and Implication questions thoughtfully and my mind went to the five dimensions of sales organisation success that Zoltners et al. (Building a Winning Sales Force, 2009) describe so well. The discussion went very well and I thought that I should share Zoltners’ five dimensions of sales success with you because they were critical to my getting to the real issues at hand.

The Five Dimensions of Sales Organisation Success

  • Company Results
  • Customer Results
  • Activities
  • Sales People
  • Sales Effectiveness Drivers

I need not tell you that the organisation that I was in discussion with had a single focus-Company Results. No wonder overall results were disappointing!

If you will allow me, over the next few weeks I shall address each of these dimensions, one at a time, and I would welcome your feedback in developing the conversation.

Herman D. Alvaranga is president of the Caribbean School of Sales Management. Connect the dots…and call us instead of looking outside the region for world-class sales and marketing education, consulting and training.


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