Last call to share your insights and to receive research in return – 2015 MHI Sales Best Practices Study

Three weeks to go – three weeks to share your insights and to receive research in return – immediately after taking the survey and with first-access to the results in Q1/2015.

For us at the MHI Research Institute, we begin with giving and sharing our findings from the 2014 MHI Sales Best Practices Study. In my last post featuring the study, I discussed a framework of world-class sales performance, consisting of three organizational attributes and three connected individual behaviors, each pair connected by a cultural component.

Today, let’s take a deeper look at one of the individual behaviors – providing perspective. What it is and how it works – that was the core topic of Top Sales World Magazine’s cover story, Oct 28.
Dr. Jonathan Farrington, CEO of Top Sales World, interviewed me and we discussed the defining difference of world-class sales performance. This defining difference, according to our research at the MHI Research Institute, is based on the combination of the organizational attributes and the individual behaviors. Learn more about this framework here. But there is one behavior that plays a special role when it comes to how you connect and engage with your prospects and customers. And that’s providing perspective. Please download your exclusive copy of last week’s Top Sales Magazine’s interview and learn more about providing perspective as a customer-core based engagement and messaging principle. Dr. Farrington also asked me what the success factors for providing perspective are. Read more about the relevance of coaching, value messaging and collaboration as part of a successful providing perspective approach.

From giving to receiving – this is where we ask you for your help!

The 2015 MHI Sales Best Practices Study is still open until end of November. We kindly ask you to take some time to take this survey. We need your data and insights now to complete this state-of-the-art research early in 2015. Participants will have first access to the results.

The MHI Sales Best Practices Study, now in its 12th year, is the world’s largest survey for complex B2B sales, covering all regions and many different industries and roles in sales. In case this is important to you, this is NOT an MHI client study. Less than thirty percent of all past participants have been clients.

What you can expect from the study as a participant:

  • Timely business intelligence—exclusive, first access to the full study results when they’re published in Q1 2015
  • A complimentary report from the MHI Research Institute, Perspectives on Productivity: The Next Level of Transparency
  • Entry into a drawing for a World-Class Sales Performance Gap Analysis – an opportunity to take advantage of a service provided by the Institute’s research analysts that compares the participant’s organizational behaviors to those of World-Class Sales Performers as identified in this study.

Click here to get to the study – it’s open until Nov 30, 2014.

Give The Gift Of Data And Get Research In Return – The 2015 MHI Sales Best Practices Study

Sharing is the first step of collaboration, receiving is a natural follow-up. Collaboration leads to receiving more than the sum of the given pieces. Across industries, peer-to-peer networks, communities and the sharing economy are based on this collaborative principle – you have to give to get.

For us at the MHI Research Institute, giving begins with sharing the highlights from our 2014 MHI Global Sales Best Practices Study. The year before, our research identified three attributes of World-Class Sales Organizations, each corresponding to a cultural component that drives the behaviors and attitudes of the organization. Building on the three organizational attributes – Customer Core, Collaborative Culture and Calibrated Success – as defined in the 2013 study, the analysis of the 2014 data identifies three categories of sales behaviors that define World-Class Sales Performance – Provide Perspective, Conscious Collaboration and Performance Accountability. Connecting those individual behaviors with the attributes of World-Class Sales Organizations creates a framework for a performance-oriented sales culture. A culture that knows how to connect and engage with customers, how to work together and what to measure, recognize and reward.

Provide Perspective is the next level of connecting and engaging with prospects and customers. The engagement and messaging principle is a pure customer core approach. It’s based on the customers’ situational context and the different concepts of each impacted stakeholder. Then, it takes into account that especially in complex buying environments, every customer makes every decision differently. This specific decision dynamic has to be well understood, before the sales team can map all these findings to the own portfolio of capabilities, products and services. Configuring a solution through the lens of the customer’s context, their concepts and their specific decision dynamic is the prerequisite to come up with a specific, customized solution that enables the customer to achieve their desired results and wins.

Conscious Collaboration begins with the customers. The purpose of collaboration is to achieve better results in a shorter amount of time. It allows individuals with different areas of expertise and roles to work together through a common language and strategic frameworks. Collaboration connects teams, organizations and companies. Collaboration frameworks are an approach to multiply individual contributions. Collaboration objectives are different for a strategic account environment compared to an inside sales team. Therefore, collaboration has to be defined specifically and that’s a sales leadership task. Sales leaders must establish guiding principles for different collaboration situations to create the foundation for conscious collaboration.

Performance Accountability is the metric that separates world class from all others. World-class sales performers hold themselves accountable for their customers’ success. They know that the customers’ success is the foundation of their own success. World-class sales performers hold themselves accountable along the entire customer’s journey. There is no walking away after a deal is closed. Instead, performance accountability means to identify even more possibilities to create add-on value for customers. Performance accountability means also to be accountable to the standards and expectations set by the front line sales managers.

From giving to receiving – this is where we ask you for your help!

The 2015 MHI Sales Best Practices Study is now open until the end of November. We kindly ask you to take some time to take our survey. The Sales Best Practices Study is the world’s largest survey for complex B2B sales, covering all regions, different industries and different roles in sales – now conducted in the 12th year.

What you can expect from the study as a participant:

  • Timely business intelligence—exclusive, first access to the full study results when they’re published in Q1 2015
  • A complimentary report from the MHI Research Institute, Perspectives on Productivity: The Next Level of Transparency
  • Entry into a drawing for a World-Class Sales Performance Gap Analysis—an opportunity to take advantage of a service provided by the Institute’s research analysts that compares the participant’s organizational behaviors to those of World-Class Sales Performers as identified in this study

Click here to get to the study – it’s open through Nov 30, 2014.

Performance Accountability – A Behavior of World-Class Sales Performers

If a taxi driver delivers excellent services, then you are a lucky person. In case your taxi driver also helps you out with coins that were part of his tip just to make sure you can pick up a baggage cart and catch your flight – then you have a taxi driver who cared more about your outcome than about his own. That’s one aspect of performance accountability.

Performance Accountability—a behavior of world-class sales performers

The 2014 MHI Global Sales Best Practices Study identified three individual behaviors that drive world-class sales performance. One of them is performance accountability. World -Class Sales Organizations set themselves apart in many ways. One example for performance accountability is their ability to align their sales performance metrics with their business objectives. It sounds obvious, but our data show – in a consistent way over the last four years – that this is a very significant differentiator between world class and all respondents. Now, how does performance accountability look like for a salesperson? Let’s look at a few criteria:

Accountability for the customers’ success

First and foremost, world-class sales performers hold themselves accountable for their customers’ success. They know that the customers’ success is the foundation of their own success. They own the customer’s expected outcome that was part of the solution they have sold. They do everything they can to make sure the expected value is achieved or overachieved. World-class sales performers hold themselves accountable along the entire customer’s journey. There is no walking away after a deal is closed, just as the taxi driver didn’t walk away.

Accountability for own performance

World-class sales performers are focused on results. They don’t accept excuses. They know that focus and energy create movement, and they use their time wisely. They hold themselves accountable to the standards and expectations set by their frontline sales manager (FSM). They recognize that their FSM relies on timely and accurate business updates. They deliver on forecast commitments and maintain current and accurate funnel data. That’s why they are always prepared for opportunity reviews.

Professionalism

World-class sales performers are professionals to the core. They show up every day. They practice hard. They always try to become better. And they demand continuous coaching from their sales manager to leverage their full potential. They are committed to mastering various sales techniques, they are courageous, creative and they take risks – even in the face of fear. They reflect their practice all the time, and they learn even when they lose. Even if they lose the deal, they gain experience. Last but not least, they collaborate: they share best practices, they love to learn from others, and they are well respected by other world-class sales professionals.

Looking for more interesting data on world-class sales performance?