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  • Writer's pictureBrian Shea

Chief Revenue Officers are Battling 2023 with Unproductive Sales Organizations

We've all read about how 2023 is going to hard for B2B sales organizations. The economic environment will create challenges that most Chief Revenue/Sales Officers (CROs) haven't faced in their careers. But have CRO's built an efficient team capable of increased execution with fewer at bats this year? Some recently published data may say "nope, not ready to win".

Salesforce recently surveyed over 7,700 global sales professionals to identify the "Trends in Sales Ops". Of the surveyed population, 36% were identified as high performers (significantly increased their Year over Year "YoY" revenue), 20% were underperformers (defined as maintaining or decreased YoY revenue) and moderate performers (somewhat increased YoY revenue).

There are several interesting nuggets within the report including what organizations are doing to boost seller efficiency.

As expected, AI adoption can impact efficiency. But AI alone will not drive efficiency. CROs need to have a candid conversation about the prioritization of both the sales managers and sellers activities in their organization.

The gut-wrenching observation is that sales orgs are struggling with seller inefficiency. How bad is it? Its bad.

72% of a surveyed reps time is spent on non-selling tasks, including over 25% of their time is spent completing administrative tasks, internal meetings/training and downtime. That's nearly 1 in 4 hours on the clock!

The Apple Doesn't Fall Far from the Tree

So where are these sellers getting their prioritization marching orders? It may be worth reviewing how low performing front line sales managers compare to high performing sales managers in where spent their time. The 2020 Gartner study titled the "Chief Sales/Revenue Officer's Guide to Maximizing Sales Manager Impact" provides interesting parallels to the seller data above.

Any guesses on where low performing front line sales managers are spending their time? Within the non performers' most frequent activities, ten of ten of these activities were internally facing tasks.

Translation = low performing sales managers are not spending time with sellers helping to advance deals, or skill coaching, or call planning. Instead, these low performers spend most of their week creating reports, analyzing reports, reviewing pipelines, and pushing internal processes.

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery that mediocrity can pay to greatness. - Oscar Wilde

Can low performers replicate how and where the top sales managers are spending their time? Of course, but these low performing sales managers will need support from the C-Suite leaders to shift their priorities to intentional coaching: deal coaching, group coaching, skill coaching, problem solving coaching, and gaining buyer commitment coaching.

But check out #9 on the list - "Clarifying Organizational Requests for Sellers". High performing front line sales managers push back on their organizations desire to burden sellers with non selling tasks. Want to immediately improve sales performance? Protect your sellers selling time! If you are a CRO who is struggling to get your sales team priorities aligned to high performing selling motions, our team at Lucrum Partners can help.

Brian Shea



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