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Sales Managers are Key to Unlocking Peak Sales Performance

CSO Insights’ 2013 Sales Management Optimization Study

/ BOULDER, CO - May 10, 2013 -- CSO Insights announces the release of their 5th annual Sales Management Optimization (SMO) study. Over 1,700 firms worldwide took part in the 2013 research effort. The survey participants provided input on over 100 metrics which showed areas of increased change as well as challenges that remain year-over-year.

Key findings show that “forecast accuracy” is an oxymoron with only 45.7% of forecast opportunities being won as projected. This year’s report highlights sales management time allocation, the importance of process and coaching, and yet how these are disconnected from how managers are measured and compensated. The report also included best practices of best-in-class companies.

“The data clearly support the value of investing in your sales managers and the return paid when they effectively coach their reps,” says Jim Dickie, Managing Partner at CSO Insights. “Once again, we see companies developing their people, implementing higher levels of sales process, and leveraging technology—for example, analytics and networking in addition to CRM—are outdistancing firms that ignore or half-heartedly include these in their day-to-day selling and managing activities.”

“We added several new metrics to this year’s survey and we’re very proud of the resulting report; I think it’s our best yet in this area,” added Barry Trailer, Managing Partner at CSO Insights. “One example is a more detailed look at sales manager time allocation and focus. The best-in-class companies’ managers spend less time selling and more time coaching. They also focus their coaching less on specific deals and more on their reps’ development using metrics, not hunches, to do so.”

Source: CSO Insights’ 2013 Sales Management Optimization Study

Based on this year’s exceptionally large number of study participants/pool of data, CSO Insights was able to create benchmark reports for more than a dozen industries. These include high technology, manufacturing, professional services, financial services, advertising/PR/media, distribution, medical products, telecom, etc. Details on these benchmarks can be found on our 2013 Sales Management Optimization benchmark webpage or contact Laura Andrus.

About CSO Insights

CSO Insights ( is a sales and marketing effectiveness research firm that specializes in measuring how companies are leveraging people, process, technology, and knowledge to improve the way they market and sell to customers. For 19 years, CSO Insights’ surveys of over 15,000 sales effectiveness initiatives have been the gold standard for tracking the evolution of how the role of sales is changing, revealing the challenges that are impacting sales performance, and showing how companies are addressing these challenges.


• To interview Jim Dickie, please email or call 303-521-4410
• To interview Barry Trailer, please email or call 415-924-3500
• To obtain a PDF copy of the full report, please email Kim Cameron at or call 775-831-9013

• Tag: sales management, sales performance, sales effectiveness, and sales optimization