Skills Development Benchmarks

sales leadership

Disclosures

RevOps Squared in partnership with The Harris Consulting Group has conducted industry Benchmark research on Key Performance Indicators with the explicit permission and approval by all survey and research participants. RevOps Squared works with multiple partners to syndicate our research. The material contained herein is based on sources considered to be reliable, however, RevOps2 does not guarantee or warrant the accuracy or completeness of information. This document is for informational purposes only.

This communication is intended solely for the use by the recipient. The recipient agrees not to forward or copy the information to any other person outside of their organization without the express written consent of RevOps Squared LLC and/or The Harris Consulting Group

If you would like to request additional information regarding this research and available additional data and/or advisory services as to how this information can be captured, utilized and/or evaluated in any other manner please send all inquires to richard@rharris415.com or rayrike@reopsquared.com

Disclosure

RevOps Squared has conducted direct Industry Benchmark research on Key Performance Indicators with the explicit permission and approval by all survey and research participants. RevOps Squared has worked with multiple partners to syndicate our research. The material contained herein is based on sources considered to be reliable; however, RevOps2 does not guarantee or warrant the accuracy or completeness of information. This document is for informational purposes only.

This communication is intended solely for the use by the recipient. The recipient agrees not to forward or copy the information to any other person outside of their organization without the express written consent of RevOps Squared LLC.

If you would like to request additional information regarding this research and available additional data and/or advisory services as to how this information can be captured, utilized and/or evaluated in any other manner please send all inquires to info@reopsquared.com

Research Overview

Sales professionals from companies of all sizes answered the call to provide their feedback and insights into the highest priority for Sales Leadership skills development throughout February 2021.

The research covered every level of sales leadership including: 1) Chief Revenue Officer; 2) Vice President Sales; 3) Sales Directors and Managers; 4) Sales Development Directors; 5) Sales Development Managers.

One unique aspect to this research was to identify how different roles across the organization view the top priorities for sales skill development. It is interesting to note that perspectives were not consistent across different levels in the organization.

We took a 360-degree approach, that provides unique insights into what everyone from an individual contributor, such as a Sales Development Representative or Account Executive to the Chief Executive Officers view as the skill development priorities for sales leadership across all levels.

Lastly, though we did look for differences based upon company size and annual contract value, there were not significant correlations that we could identify. Skill development priorities were more dependent on the responder than company’s attributes.

Top Findings

Forecast Management Skill is Critical

Predictability of revenue growth and new revenue is a consistent top skill development area across every revenue generating role and level. This was a top 3 priority for  every sales leadership role and level

Pipeline Development and Management Ranks High

Pipeline is the most cited cause of Sales and Marketing alignment friction. The research highlights that pipeline development and management is a top skill development area for every level in sales management. Another factor in the need for more integrated and aligned sales and marketing

Development of Sales Manager is Critical CRO Skill

Sales Manager development ranked far too low as a skill priority from the CRO perspective. In contract both the CEO and Sales Managers saw this as a top-level skill development priority for CROs

Opportunity Management – Not a Top Priority

This was one of the most surprising findings, especially as the CEO does not view this as a top skill development priority for sales managers.  This skill is critical to forecast accuracy, pipeline coverage ratios and close rates

Variable Compensation Plan and Territory Development

This highlighted the classic difference in priorities between the individual contributors and leadership.  Salespeople and SDRs both rated this skill has a high priority and it consistently ranked in the lowest levers  for sales leadership and CEOs alike

Conversation Feedback – Priority for Sales Development

Conversation Intelligence vendors will love this finding.  The skill to provide feedback to SDR’s was a top priority by both the SDR and leadership alike.  The ability to coach on objection handing is important for sales development and sales alike

Sales Leadership Skills Development
Chief Revenue Officer

( 1 = High Priority, 10 = Low Priority)

CRO skill development priorities

⮚ Forecast Management is the top skill development area for the CRO

⮚ Sales Manager development is a skill that the CRO must enhance

⮚ Pipeline Development and Management is a skill development area for the CRO – especially according to the CEO

⮚ VC Plan development and territory development skills a much lower priority – but not according to the individual salesperson

Sales Leadership Skills Development
Vice President, Sales

( 1 = High Priority, 10 = Low Priority)

VP Sales - Skill Development Priorities

⮚ Objectives and Quota management a top VP Sales skill development area

⮚ Forecast management is similar  priority for the CRO

⮚ Metrics management a top 5 skills development priority for VP Sales

⮚ Coaching for VP Sales a lower skill development area – though more important in smaller size company

⮚ Sales call participation averaged as only the 8th highest skill development priority

Sales Leadership Skills Development
Sales Managers

( 1 = High Priority, 10 = Low Priority)

Sales Manager/Director: Skill Development Priorities

⮚ Sales Call participation the top skill development priority for Sales Managers

⮚ Coaching is much higher skill development priority for front line Sales Managers

⮚ Surprising that Quota and Objectives management not a high priority

⮚ Forecast management is a top priority across every sales leadership level

⮚ Sales Process management was much lower for sales managers – interesting

Sales Leadership Skills Development
Sales Development, Director

( 1 = High Priority, 10 = Low Priority)

Sales Development, Director_skills Development Priorities

⮚ Sales Development leadership priorities are more coaching centric than for sales managers

⮚ Team building – keeping up morale is a top skill development opportunity

⮚ Interesting that product, competitor and industry knowledge transfer is a low priority skill development need

⮚ Metrics and performance management a top skill development across every role in sales and sales development

Sales Leadership Skills Development
Sales Development, Managers

( 1 = High Priority, 10 = Low Priority)

Sales Development, manager_ Skills Development priorities

⮚ CRM utilization was a top priority skill development for SD leaders

⮚ Interesting that organization development was a much higher skill development area than for any other role

⮚ Metrics and performance management a top 5 area for every role across sales

⮚ Surprising that coaching is a lower skill development priority for SD managers

⮚ Product, Use Case and Competitive knowledge transfer skills are low priority for Sales Development managers

Chief Revenue Officer
Skill Development Priorities

( By Respondent Role)

Skill Development Priority for CRO

⮚ Pipeline Management is a higher priority for CEOs vs CROs

⮚ Sales Manager Development skills are a priority area of development for the CRO from the CEO perspective

⮚ Organizational Development is not viewed as a CRO priority from the salesperson’s perspective

⮚ VC Plan Development and Management skills are a top priority for CRO from the salesperson perspective

Sales Managers
Skill Development Priorities

( By Respondent Role)

Skill Development Priority for Sales Managers

⮚ Pipeline management skills for sales managers a lower priority for CRO

⮚ Metrics Management not a top skill development area according to CRO

⮚ Forecast Management is a lower priority skill according to CRO versus the CEO and Sales Manager thinks

⮚ CEO does not place a high priority on opportunity management coaching skill development for sales managers

⮚ Sales call participation not a priority skills development priority from the CRO perspective

Sales Development Managers
Skills Development Priorities

( By Respondent Role)

Skill Development Priority for Sales Development Managers

⮚ CROs do not view organization development skills as a top priority

⮚ SDRs do not report metrics management as a skill development priority for SD managers

⮚ Knowledge transfer skills a lower priority from the SDR perspective

⮚ SDRs do not believe that objectives management is a top skills development priority

⮚ SDR’s really want conversation feedback to be a top skills for their managers

Participant Profile

Participants By Level
Participants by Role

Participant Profile

Experience: in Company
Participant Company: By Revenue
Experience: By Role
Participant Company: By ACV

Bonus Sales Benchmarks

close rate
Sales Cycle Time - Days

Research Summary

Sales professionals from companies of all sizes answered the call to provide their feedback and insights into the highest priority for Sales Leadership skills development throughout February 2021.

The research covered every level of sales leadership including: 1) Chief Revenue Officer; 2) Vice President Sales; 3) Sales Directors and Managers; 4) Sales Development Directors; 5) Sales Development Managers.

There were several interesting themes and areas of opportunity that emerged.  First, the CEO is much more focused on the strategic and high-level company valuation impacting skills, specifically around forecast management, pipeline development and management and metrics centric skills.

Chief Revenue Officers were consistently applying different levels of skill development priority for themselves on sales management and organization development.  This may be a factor in the high attrition rates of CROs and VP of Sales, especially in < $50M companies.  Growth and scalability cannot be maintained without a strong focus on organization and leadership development.

Variable compensation and territory development are both high priorities for the individual contributors.  This may highlight low hanging fruit for executive sales leadership to better communicate the criteria that went into these areas, as neither executive sales leadership, nor CEOs identified this as a skill development priority.