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What Separates the Best Sales Organizations from The Rest?

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Written by Mike Schultz
President, RAIN Group

One of our primary goals at the RAIN Group Center for Sales Research is to find out what real sellers and sales leaders are doing to achieve their results. With What Sales Winners Do Differently, we wanted to know what individual sellers do to win sales opportunities compared to those who come in second place.

In our recent Top-Performing Sales Organization study, we shifted our scope to an organizational scale, looking to answer the question: what do the Top-Performing Sales Organizations—those with the best sales results—do differently than The Rest?

Factors that define Top Performers compared to The Rest include:


Top Performers represented the top 20% of all respondents to our study. The remaining 80% made up The Rest. So, what makes the two groups different?

We included 72 factors in our study that impact an organization's ultimate sales performance and growth. We surveyed 472 sellers and sales executives in companies with sales forces ranging in size from 10 sellers to 5,000+, and asked them if they agreed with each of the 72 factors.

3 factors stood out as representing the largest gap between what Top Performers do vs. The Rest.

The Top 3 Differences Separating the Top-Performing Sales Organizations from The Rest

  1. Our sales organization is effective at maximizing sales to existing clients across capability areas

  2. Our company leaders prioritize developing sellers to be as valuable to our buyer as possible

  3. We are effective at assessing seller skills, knowledge, and attributes that support top sales performance

We also asked companies about their sales priorities for the year ahead. The top 2 priorities include:

  1. Increase business with existing accounts (50%)

  2. Improve ability to communicate value (42%)

See the trend?

Communicating value, developing sellers to be valuable to buyers, and maximizing sales to existing clients all go hand-in-hand. If you can't communicate the value you provide across the capability areas of your company, it's hard to convince existing clients that they will benefit from your other products and services.

Clearly Top-Performing Organizations are much further ahead than The Rest on these 2 key priorities...and they're reaping the rewards.

Topics: Sales Research Sales Performance Improvement