About Sales Insights

Sales Insights is a publication for executives seeking wise perspectives on selling and sales management from the best business experts and practitioners in the field. Our articles range from strategic to tactical and from theoretical to practical. But they always consider how the sales function can help the company achieve its business strategy.

This site is sponsored by Xactly, a leading provider of enterprise-class, cloud-based, incentive compensation solutions for employee and sales performance management. Xactly helps people connect and unleash their human potential through seamless, perfectly aligned incentive compensation.

Mission

Sales Insights strives to be the most relevant voice shaping sales performance around the world, an essential community for executives who want to apply best and emerging practices in sales management and sales leadership.

We will accomplish our mission by:

  • Publishing articles by thought-leaders, executives and sales leaders.
  • Examining practices that increase the effectiveness of sales strategy and execution.
  • Analyzing and commenting on industry-shaping news.
  • Fostering discussion of lessons learned and the future of sales.

Topics of Interest

We publish posts on the following topics:

Sales Strategy

  • Go-to-market strategy
  • Jobs-to-be-done
  • Customer segmentation
  • Customer coverage model
  • Sales role in the marketing mix
  • Selling and sales approach
  • Prospecting, lead generation, sales funnel

Sales Management

  • Sales leadership styles
  • Ways to create and sustain an innovative sales discipline within an organization.
  • Anticipating customer and sales department issues
  • The technically savvy sales executive
  • Salesperson performance assessment
  • Coaching
  • Recruiting, selection, on-boarding

Sales Organization

  • Overall cost structure: actual, vs industry or competitor benchmarks
  • Spans of control
  • Territory design: application of customer coverage model, travel/windshield time
  • Sales competencies and skills
  • Sales roles and jobs definition

Cross-Functional Effectiveness

  • Sales departments (field, operations, senior sales executives) collaborating with other corporate functions such as IT, Finance, Marketing, Manufacturing
  • “Selling internally”, influencing other departments by representing the voice of the customer (VoC)
  • Listening to and acting on the wisdom of other departments

Hiring

  • Candidate profiles
  • Recruiting target candidates
  • Structured interviews, finding proof of competency and results
  • Team interviewing
  • Selection process

Sales Technology

  • AI (artificial intelligence), machine learning, predictive algorithms (e.g., rep and customer turnover)
  • Sales data management and integration  (e.g., CRM, enterprise, customer, inside and outside sales, forecasting, supply chain, S&OP)
  • CRM (customer relationship management) and pipeline management
  • Dashboard essentials for C-Suite, CSO, sales management, salespeople
  • Sales performance management (SPM)
  • Incentive compensation management (ICM)
  • Full sales tech stack

Sales Compensation and Rewards

  • Competitive pay levels/market pricing
  • Pay equity: gender equality, pay levels relative to other departments
  • Pay mix (fixed vs variable; salary vs incentive)
  • Incentive plan design
  • Recognition and rewards programs
  • Spiffs and contests
  • Plan administration

Sales Quotas

  • Territory, district, region sales forecasting
  • Territory potential measurement techniques
  • Over-assignment, under-assignment
  • Quota management (e.g., change policy, warning process)

Sales Performance Measures

  • Definition of the sale (e.g., net revenue vs. margin/contribution dollars)
  • Sales crediting (e.g., signed contract, invoiced, collected)
  • Total sales organization targets from business/operating plan (pre-quota setting)
  • Frameworks for designing new sales performance criteria

Training and Onboarding

  • Competency gap assessment
  • On-the-job vs classroom training
  • Inhouse vs outsourced
  • Training effectiveness measurement and assessment

Want to Contribute?

We welcome your thoughts and encourage you to use the Comments boxes below our articles. Doing so will stimulate further discussion.

If you would like to publish an article on this site, please send an email to the editor Mark Blessington.

Data Privacy

Our data privacy policy can be viewed here.