CEO Topic: Sales Excellence Study

Author: Simon Alterman

Date: February 19, 2013


Company leaders are always on the lookout for ways to bolster and build a better, more effective sales machine. Information industry CEOs and sales leaders share a common concern across the board: How to further drive sales performance and reach or maintain sales excellence. As the information industry evolves, the roles within sales organizations have changed, too. Outsell’s “CEO Topics: Sales Excellence Study” takes a closer look at what leading companies are doing to readapt their sales philosophies for success, what benchmarks they’re using to measure performance, the level of involvement CEOs are taking to help their organizations, and how companies motivate employees and recruit top talent to their team. This report includes: – Data and analysis from interviews with CEOs and sales leaders representing companies outperforming or showing advantage in their markets; – Common challenges companies share when it comes to leading sales teams – as well as plans for improvement; – The level of CEO involvement within organizations – and with customers – and the effect both have on revenue and growth; – Satisfaction levels with staffing and compensation plans, and the key qualities and skills leaders look for when adding to their teams; – Essential actions and best practices that can help boost performance potential and lay the path for sales excellence.


  • Why This Topic?
  • Methodology
  • Sales Organizations Today
  • Current State the Sales Organization
  • CEO Involvement
  • Sales Organization & Customer Service
  • Staffing
  • Sales Recruitment & Retention
  • Sales Onboarding & Training
  • Sales Compensation, Quotas, and Performance
  • Processes & Metrics
  • CRM Systems
  • Reporting, KPIs, and Pipeline Analysis
  • Essential Actions
  • Related Research

Figures & Tables

  • Figure 1. Average Price Points of Products and Services Sold
  • Figure 2. Ratio: Share of Revenue to Fraction of Customers
  • Figure 3. Current Satisfaction with Sales Performance and Practices
  • Figures 4 and 5. CEO Involvement with Overall Sales Organization
  • Figures 6 and 7. CEO Weekly Time with Current Customers
  • Figure 8. Prevalence of Client Services in Sales Organizations
  • Figure 9. Popular Methods for Organizing Sales Territories
  • Figure 10. Iron Solutions’ Multitiered Sales Strategy
  • Figure 11. Qualities and Skills Associated with Good Sales Performance
  • Figure 12. Salesperson Turnover Rates
  • Figure 13. Prevalence and Formality of Sales Training Programs
  • Figure 14. Time to Get a New Recruit to Good Sales Performance
  • Figures 15 and 16. Sales Compensation Structures: Salary vs. Commission
  • Figures 17 and 18. Prevalence and Types of CRM Systems Used
  • Figure 19. Popular Measurements, Yardsticks, and KPIs
  • Figures 20 and 21. Performance Against Success Measures

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