New research shows probably not
Ask anyone in a professional services firm if their company prioritizes driving value for their clients, they’ll say yes.
Ask them confidentially in a research survey, and you may get an entirely different answer.
That’s what we did and that’s what we got.
The RAIN Group Center for Sales Research recently surveyed 472 respondents to find out what separates the top-performing sales organizations from the rest.
The results pertaining to driving value were among the most significant insights we found. Specifically, we asked five questions related to value and customer focus:
- Our organization focuses on driving maximum value for the customer.
- Our sales force structure is aligned with the way our customers prefer to buy from us.
- Our sales process is customer-focused and maps to our buyers’ buying processes.
- Our sales process is flexible to apply to our buyers’ various roles and situations.
- Our company leaders prioritize developing sellers to be as valuable to our buyers as possible.
Only 16 percent of the respondents agreed to all five questions. We labeled this group Value-Driving Sales Organizations.
We then compared their results to Non-Value-Driving Sales Organizations:
Firms that prioritize client value see significantly higher revenue growth and win rates.
While a 9-percentage point increase in win rate may not seem like much, simple math shows that the effect of even incremental improvements in win rate is dramatic for a business. Imagine a company or division has 200 sellers. Each seller submits a proposal for approximately 25 opportunities per year — that’s about 5,000 total proposals made by the organization — with the average sale being $150,000. At a win rate of 45 percent, the organization’s annual revenue is $337.5 million. At 54 percent it’s $405 million.
That’s $67.5 million in revenue added without adding any selling headcount — just by increasing the win rate.
Moreover, Value-Driving Sales Organizations don’t just experience improvement in win rate. They also have significantly lower undesired sales turnover, which means they are better able to retain top talent. This is no surprise when you look at other findings related to sales training and investment. Value-Driving Sales Organizations are 2.9 times more likely to invest in sales training and they rate the training as effective 3.6 times more often.
When sellers are confident in themselves while selling, and believe your firm is a strong partner willing to invest in them to improve their performance, they’re more likely to be successful and to stick around.
Value-Driving Sales Organizations not only achieve superior results, they are better able to retain strong performers. They focus on creating and delivering value, align their structures and processes to do so, and invest in sellers’ abilities to be more skilled, knowledgeable, and valuable.
While everyone may say they focus on value, not many firms actually live and breathe it in this way: remember that only 16 percent of organizations qualify as Value-Driving.
If you want to increase win rates, beat your sales goals and become a Top Performer in 2016, make value a mission at your firm.
About the author
Mike Schultz is president of RAIN Group, a global sales training and consulting company. He helps companies around the world unleash the sales potential of their teams. Mike is bestselling author of “Rainmaking Conversations” and “Insight Selling.” He also writes for the RAIN Selling Blog.