Sales effectiveness is an assessment of the results generated by the investment in certain types of sales strategies and procedures. The idea is to determine if the returns generated by the sales effort are equitable in relation to the investment of time, money and other resources to achieve those sales. The goal is to use this determination of sales effectiveness as a means of deciding if the current sales approach is working sufficiently well to sustain the company, or if changes in strategies or even the structure of the sales force is in order.
Several factors are taken into consideration when evaluating sales effectiveness, with some not directly involved in the sales effort. One has to do with the quality of the goods produced for sale. When the products offered by a company do not attract consumers because they do not compare favorably with similar products offered by the competition, it will have a direct impact on the effectiveness of the sales team. Even if the team is able to consistently generate a first-time sale, the lack of quality will minimize the chances for recurring sales with those same customers.
Another crucial element of sales effectiveness is the organization of the sales effort. Many companies today will use a blend of direct and indirect sales techniques in order to reach potential clients and increase sales. One common structure is to combine an in-house sales team with the use of field agents to maximize the number of people who are actually making contacts with potential clients. In some cases, companies will operate telemarketing teams that make initial contacts, qualify the contacts in terms of interest by the consumers, and then pass the qualified leads on to the sales team for development.
Marketing efforts also play a role in sales effectiveness. Many of the advertising and marketing tools developed by a company function as ways to familiarize consumers with the products, and pave the way for sales personnel to initiate contacts and work toward a sale. When the marketing is non-existent or projects an incorrect image of the product line, additional obstacles are present that salespeople must overcome when attempting to establish rapport and build a relationship with a potential client.
The core factor in sales effectiveness is the proficiency of each member of the sales team. When a salesperson is not able to connect with customers due to personality conflicts or lacks a working knowledge of the product line, the resources invested in that salesperson will likely yield a less than desirable return. For this reason, many companies screen potential salespeople carefully and engage them in a training program before allowing them to represent the company to the buying public.