Is sales performance the only executive priority?

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By: Wise Marketer Staff |

Posted on July 8, 2002

In these economically challenging times, executives face the problem of prioritising areas for improvement in their businesses. A new study from Sage Results examines those priorities, revealing that 'improving sales performance' came top of the list, whilst customer satisfaction and retention came last.

The survey questioned 70 business leaders, comprising executives and professionals from various sized organisations across a wide range of industries. Respondents were asked to rank four areas to indicate their primary focus for this year: sales, productivity, costs and quality.

The survey revealed that:

  • 37% will focus on improving sales performance, with the main emphasis being on improving the volume and quality of sales leads, followed by 'right selling', and improving sales techniques.
  • 31% will focus on enhancing organisational performance, including issues such as personnel management and goal setting, followed by employee development, career path development, staffing and scheduling issues, employee optimisation and motivation, and improving internal communications.
  • 16% will focus on optimising their cost structure, with half of the respondents in this category stating that customer retention was the most important factor in cost reduction. This was followed by automation, employee retention and process management.
  • 16% will focus on quality improvements, with more than 30% of this category saying that their main focus will be on improving customer satisfaction.

At first glance these findings might suggest that companies are focusing their efforts on obtaining new customers. Interestingly, however, a significant number of the respondents cited customer satisfaction and customer retention as ways not only to cut costs but ultimately as the keys to success.

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