Five New Year's Resolutions for the Data-Driven Sales Leader
What's in a Next-Gen Sales Pro's Toolbox?

The Sales-Performance Puzzle: How to Solve It

This is the month in which many sales organizations are busy with the Big Sales Kickoff. As the sales leader, you orchestrate a fast-paced show delivered by your company’s best platform talent. The CEO’s keynote is inspirational, the CMO’s presentation is aspirational, the product manager’s demo rocks, and your keynote is densely packed with bold and optimistic predictions and tough challenges. As the sales leader, you are the merchant of hope, and your salespeople are swallowing your message hook, line, and sinker.

But after the team heads for the airport, you may be left with a nagging question: what impact will this kickoff have on your sales numbers? Here is my guess:

1. Retention of information

Twenty percent of your salespeople will absorb 80 percent of the content and then use half of it with customers. Eighty percent of your salespeople will absorb 20 percent of the content and use one-third of it with customers.

2. Impact on motivation

Eighty percent of your salespeople will feel recharged and optimistic about the company and their future, and 20 percent will continue shopping for better opportunities.

3. Acquisition of selling skills

Ninety percent of your salespeople listened to some of the selling skills you shared during the kickoff meeting, but fewer than 10 percent will try to apply the new skills, and after experiencing some failure they’ll revert to their old behavior.

If you don’t believe my guesstimates, consider the solid numbers uncovered by ES Research: according to ES Research’s sales-training surveys, between 85 and 90 percent of sales training has no impact after 120 days. Of the $5 billion US companies spend yearly on sales training, more than $4.25 billion are wasted.

Last week I interviewed John Doerr, a sales-training expert. John is co-president at RAIN Group. I edited the one-hour interview to the most essential nine minutes, and I highly recommend that you watch them, since he shares uncommon insight into solving the sales-performance puzzle.

If you are short on time, you can skip to the end, where I summarized the key points in a few PPT slides (that you can download from our new Website, To watch the video, click on the image below.

Please feel free to comment below, or tweet your questions using #salesopchat.

Share your comment


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


Gerhard - it is a timely topic. Thank you for the post.

We just completed the only known objective research on what people are doing with their sales kickoff meetings. This piece will be useful for anyone who organizes SKOs.

The comments to this entry are closed.