There is a compelling research report entitled, “Understanding What Your Sales Manager Is Up Against”, by Barry Trailer and Jim Dickie, published by the Harvard Business Review. In this report, the authors provide critical insight into the benefits achieved when Sales Executives manage their sales operation:

  • Top-down,
  • Using a sales and sales management methodology, and
  • With a CRM aligned with the methodology.

Based on input from 1275 executives, the researchers divided companies into four categories depending on their level of process utilization. The four levels are shown in the table below:




Trailer and Dickey found that Level 1 through Level 3 organizations were the norm and were significantly outperformed by their Level 4 competitors. They reported the following comparative metrics:

  • Accurately Targeting Prospects (75%) 75% 75%
  • Properly Qualifying Leads (110%) 100% 100%
  • Effective Presentation of Benefits (61%) 61% 61%
  • Effectively Cross-Selling and Up-Selling (185%) 100% 100%
  • Sell Value and Avoid Excessive Discounting (143%) 100% 100%
  • Effectively Introducing New Products (103%) 100% 100%


If you believe your sales operation has room for improvement, you can book time with Bob Junke, CEO, who’ll put you on the path to becoming a Level 4 sales operation with a free assessment.  You can also take a look at our best selling book, Create the High Performance Sales Environment®, which deals with this topic head on.