Equally interesting were the numbers reported for “No Decision” outcomes: For those sales projects that had a complete Situation Slide for each key player, No Decisions ran at less than 10%. For sales projects that had incomplete Situation Slide information No Decision rates were above 60% (ick).
How was this information used? There were two very interesting process changes that took place, as a result:
First, it was mandated by senior sales management that adequate Discovery information be uncovered prior to scheduling a demo – specifically including assessment of Situation Slides prior to agreement to proceed with a demo. (There were some loopholes for extenuating circumstances, but the gross majority of demos are now preceded by what is considered to be adequate Discovery).
Second, sales pipeline measurements were changed. Previously, sales people were incented to schedule demos (as many as possible) as a key indicator of overall pipeline activity – which had resulted in a negative feedback spiral of doing more and more unproductive demos, resulting in less closed business per demo, causing management to increase the number of demos per sales person per quarter to try to increase pipeline. After reviewing the numbers from above, sales management changed “number of demos scheduled/completed per sales person” to “number of demos completed per sales person per $ of revenue” – a very clever way of measuring the effectiveness of demo preparation and delivery.
The bottom line? This particular team will be having one terrific “President’s Club/Sales Kickoff” in a wonderful location next January!