In a blog posting, Stakenas, says: “Tomorrow’s sales leadership must focus on the personal aspects of sales force development including mentoring, coaching and teaching and must be aware of new technologies in the cloud, mobile, social and big data that are disrupting existing SFA technology investments as these new capabilities for delivery and usage of sales applications mess with legacy and outdated systems.” In particular, he identifies sales performance management (SPM) and sales effectiveness (SE) as two technologies that have “evolved greatly during the past three years inside of the larger framework of sales force automation.” He is not the only commentator flagging SPM as a key evolving technology. A posting on the InsightSquared’s blog in June said: “There are several key trends in sales and sales management but one particular trend is especially exciting and transformational – the trend towards Sales Performance Management (SPM).” It described SPM as “an innovative discipline of sales management that is focused on driving more optimal sales performance with next-generation tools and metrics-driven best practices,” and listed “the five essential elements of SPM, which overlay the five elements of sales management.” These were:

  • SPM Strategy: methodology, communication, execution, process;
  • SPM Optimisation: continuous improvement of sales effectiveness and efficiency;
  • SPM Organisation: hiring, training, culture, structure and compensation;
  • SPM Metrics: measurement of performance improvements;
  • SPM Technology: next-generation sales 2.0 tools that enable higher sales productivity.
InsightSquared summed up by saying: “SPM applies more focused and advanced strategies, a more productive organisational structure, next-generation technologies and rigorous metrics that are benchmarked to produce superior results and offer sustained competitive advantages to the company.” It also claimed, without attribution, that “Over 81 percent of sales reps achieve their annual quota at companies that emphasise SPM, while lagging companies typically see only 25 percent of their reps achieve these quota goals. Additionally, these best-in-class companies that apply SPM also have 3x higher annual growth in revenue than lagging companies.” And it went on to stress that SPM is not simply sales management technology with a few bells and whistles. “SPM takes a substantial step beyond traditional sales management. It is grounded not in Sales 2.0 but really more in the ‘Sales 3.0’ world now (yes, we are way ahead of where Sales 2.0 began shaping 10 years ago), requiring cutting-edge technology with better predictive analytics and performance monitoring.” The other key technology identified by Stakenas, sales effectiveness, appears to be more established - in that it has a Wikipedia entry, whch SPM does not. Wikipedia says: “Sales effectiveness has historically been used to describe a category of technologies and consulting services aimed at helping companies improve their sales results.” Wikipedia defines sales effectiveness as ”the ability of a company’s sales professionals to ‘win’ at each stage of the customer’s buying process, and ultimately earn the business on the right terms and in the right timeframe.” It adds: “Improving sales effectiveness is not just a sales function issue; it’s a company issue as it requires deep collaboration between sales and marketing to understand what’s working and not working, and continuous improvement of the knowledge, messages, skills and strategies that sales people apply as they work sales opportunities.”

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