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Survey Shows Most Companies Are Not Ready To Outperform Their Competition

Improvements are needed in the ways companies staff, train, manage, assess & evaluate their sales team


Most companies are not ready to outperform their competition due to improvements needed in the ways they staff, train, manage, assess, and evaluate their sales leaders, sales managers, and sales people, according to a survey by Richard James & Partners, LLC, a business consulting firm that works with companies to achieve leadership and sales excellence.

“We surveyed companies to determine which sales leadership and sales team management issues most need to improve to help them build sales and customer service excellence. Two themes emerged: Companies need to be more successful in training and developing their human capital, and ongoing evaluation and assessment of talent is required in order to achieve and standardize excellence throughout the organization,” said David J. Salls, senior partner with Richard James & Partners (

According to results of the survey:

  • Sales manager staffing is the top sales staffing area that companies need to improve. 67% of surveyed companies do not have most of the right sales managers in the right positions, 64% do not have most of the right sales people in place, and 59% do not have most of the right sales leaders optimally positioned.
  • The top ways that sales leaders need to improve are: how they confront poor performers and work with them to achieve better results (chosen by 59%), develop high-potential employees (53%), and coach sales team members (43%).
  • Sales training programs are falling short in: enabling companies to outperform their competition (67% fell short), delivering desired behavior changes in sales people (51%), and assisting sales people in prospecting new customers (49%).
  • Sales team assessments need to better assist sales management in hiring sales people who get good results (57% need to get better) and help predict whether newly hired and newly promoted employees will be successful (41%). 38% of companies do not use sales team assessments.
  • Sales leadership evaluations need to better track how effective leaders are in developing high-potentials (57% need to improve) and in identifying and developing a steady stream of leaders (52%).

“In today’s tough, competitive economy, the effectiveness of a company’s sales team can make the difference between thriving and surviving. Companies must have the right people on their sales team who are committed to the goals of the organization, positioned in the right jobs, doing the right activities, and dedicated to continuous improvement,” Salls said.

“Companies must address the developmental needs of their sales leaders, sales managers, and sales team members in order to achieve sales and customer service excellence. Leadership assessment tools, sales training programs, and sales assessment tools are being under-utilized. Offering effective tools and programs to recruit, train, and develop the right people can assist companies in building high-performance teams that outperform the competition,” Salls added.

To receive a free copy of the survey report, email David J. Salls, senior partner, at

About Richard James & Partners
Richard James & Partners (RJP) is a business consulting firm dedicated to assisting their clients in outperforming the competition by achieving customer centric leadership and sales excellence.


 talent management
 leadership assessments
 executive coaching
 sales training

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