Sfera Business: 78% of companies allocate an annual training budget of 2000-10000 EUR for the entire sales team
The two roles of sales manager, "business generator" and "leader/role model for our own team" which ranked higest in the 2015 have reversed the order in 2016. The first place is now the role of "leader/model own team" (rising from 57% to 68%), followed by the "generator business" (rising from 62% to 65%). Moreover, 73% of the leaders in sales in Romania consider that vendor-client relationship has improved in recent years, according to the new edition of the study "Challenges of Sales Manager" by Sfera Business.
"In the last year, the percentage of companies who say they have customers more oriented towards immediate results of the buying process to the detriment of the long term partnership increased from 29% to 35%. Equally percentage of respondents who say that personal relationship matters more significantly decreased from 37% to 26%. In this context it is understandable why the number of those who consider that contract negotiations are extremely harsh increased from 15% in 2015 to 27% in 2016", says Catalin Stancu, Managing Partner, Sfera Business.
Sfera Business’s survey aims at screening the challenges sales managers face in Romania and is based on the responses received from 156 leaders from Romanian companies operating in 11 different industries. The current edition, the second one since Sfera Business has been conducting this survey, presents comparative data from 2015 and 2016.
Areas of immediate increase in sales outcomes
Five out of ten companies (52%) believe that the ability to identify real new channels of sales, new markets and develop expansion plans in a relevant manner is the first of business areas, if optimized, would produce instantly the largest increase in results. The lowest in the rank, with only 17%, however, it is the ability to correctly and efficiently quantify the results of a promotional campaign and create prerequisites for repeating the action - in other words, the recurrence of best practices is not working in sales.
If we take into account only the business goals, three in ten companies say that the biggest challenge facing the commercial department is the fact that growth targets for this year are the highest in the last period, in the circumstances of a relatively constant level of absorption and a market promotion plan similar to that developed in previous years.
The responsibility areas of a sales manager
According to the study, the responsibility areas of a sales manager in the context of current business are: business mission (44% in 2016 compared to 45% in 2015), on par with the team development and the people in the team (44% in 2016 compared to 40% in 2015), followed by keeping the balance between tasks, individual and team (12% in 2016 compared to 15% in 2015).
In 2016, 74% of respondents believe that they do their best at work and they love it (62% in 2015). 56% of sales managers consider important clearly defined objectives and understanding their role in the company (56% in 2015). Only 16% of respondents (13% in 2015) say they received feedback in the last 6 months on their progress and only 37% (34% in 2015) say an opportunity for development arised at work.
Improving team skills
Coaching on-the-job in 2016 is regarded as having the "most impact" for sale team members. It is closely followed by the training to improve skills / behaviors necessary for daily activities and training for extended professional development. According to the results, the following places are mentoring activities within the company and participation in open training courses to interact with participants from different industries.
According to the 2016 edition, 59% of companies allocate a budget of 2000-5000 € / year for the whole sales team to training for enhancing skills and professional development. 19% of companies allocate training budgets for their annual sales 5000-10000 € / year and 13% allocate 10000-50000 € / year. Only 9% of companies say they have budgets of over 50,000 € / year for training their sales team.
The preparaton level of the team and the selection process of the candidates
If last year 45% of respondents believed "that the general level of training of sales people has improved," but only 7% said that "improved considerably" this year 49% believe that "the overall level of preparedness has improved" and only 8% say that "improved considerably". The answer reveals a further appreciation of qualitative performance indicators within the organization.
In the top three items / aspects that have significantly improved the preparation level of sales people in the past three years, respondents put in the first place the ability to communicate (23%), the second is the level of competence and knowledge (19% ) and third is business vision (11%). Follows, on the par, results orientation and sales tools (9% each).
53% of respondents consider "the development potential of the candidate, willingness to improve and positive thinking" as the main relevant element for selection in the team (compared to 57% in 2015). "The skills and competences", in second place, are at a very great distance, with 22% of responses (compared to 14% in 2015). In the third place is' relevant experience in a similar position ", with 11% of responses (compared to 13% in 2015). Academic studies matter at a rate of only 1% in 2016 (compared to 2% in 2015).
Optimal ways of repayment for sales people
In Romania, 6 in 10 respondents believe that the best way for a seller should be paid is fixed salary commensurated to the experience level and abilities demonstrated. Only one percentage point behind (56% of responses), annual bonuses are in second place in the category optimal financial incentives. They exceed monthly bonuses by 6 percentage points (50% in 2016) and quarterly bonuses by 13 percentage points (43% in 2016). Commissions also decrease from 38% to 32%.
Moreover, the compensation and benefits plan is the most important challenge of the commercial department (score importance - 7.41 out of 10), which indicates the pressure that exists in finding the best match between plan and performance indicators of sales teams. Strategic focus comes second in the rank (score - 7.37 out of 10), followed by sales tools (score - 7.36 out of 10).
The most important customer expectations for a successful partnership
The overall outlook on the business and how the partnership with the supplier can bring long-term benefits is the most important expectation of customers in 2016. The personal relationship falls to third place and is preceded by maximizing profitability, which is second in importance. Follows, on fourth, brand prestige of supplier and how its image is goes across the business. Thus, 31% consider important the benefits of the partnership, while 34% believes it is important to maximize profitability. Personal relationship is important only for 25% of respondents in 2016.
"The second edition of the survey brings relevant information regarding the challenges on the agenda of the sales managers because, beyond the results of the current edition, we have comparative data with previous year's edition. That is why this report is a screenshot for how companies perceive and find solutions to challenges of sale managers. It is also a tool for them to facilitate their dialogue with members of executive management to structure a coherent approach at strategic level ", says Elena Badea, Partner & Senior consultant, Sfera Business.
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About the 2016 edition of the survey
"The challenges of a Sales Manager" is a survey initiated by Sfera Business in 2015, which aims to take a screenshot of the challenges faced by sales managers in Romania and to provide a relevant analysis on the realities and trends in this area. This edition is based on the responses received from 156 companies of 11 different industries in the period from 16 August to 1 October 2016 to a questionnaire consisting of 24 questions. 29% of respondents are from companies with turnover in 2015 of more than 50 million EUR, 13% with turnover of 20-50 million EUR, 26% with turnover of 5-20 million EUR, 14% with turnover of 1-5 million EUR, and 18% with turnover of less than 1 million EUR. This report also provides comparative data of 2015 and 2016 editions.
About Sfera Business
Sfera Business is a training and consulting company founded in 2010. We are focused on providing integrated solutions in sales, management and customer relations. We work alongside our clients to find practical solutions by which they obtain the desired growth rates. We always provide solutions customized to the customer needs. Each program is dedicated to a single company. We quickly understand the business challenges and ensure that we achieve results consistent with management’s expectations. Discover more about us and our team on www.sferabusiness.ro.