Using "Sales DNA" to improve sales force effectiveness

The survey

As part of GCI’s Treasury Sales Benchmarking Study, we asked sales officers at the participating banks to complete an extensive online survey.  Over 500 sales officers provided feedback on a wide variety of topics, including their time management, sales skills, personality traits, motivations, and views towards the sales organization.  The survey data provides banks with an insightful portrait of mindsets and behaviors on the frontline.  We also incorporate the survey results into our APEX model of sales performance, a predictive model that estimates sales officer productivity based on a number of different factors.  (We found that the attitudes captured in the survey explain18% of sales officer productivity, which makes it a powerful determinant driving the APEX model).

The insights

By comparing the survey responses of successful sales officers to the responses of underperforming sales officers, GCI has identified mission-critical skillsets and other key performance indicators (such as the amount of support and coaching a sales officer receives).  GCI can also segment the survey data to determine how skills vary based on different types of sales officers, such as the revenue segment a sales officer serves.  When compared to the lower end of the market (i.e. business banking and lower-middle-market), we found sales officers in the higher end of the market (i.e. middle-market and upper-middle-market) have much more confidence in critical skillsets like understanding customer needs and value proposition delivery.  In the exhibit below, we’ve narrowed our focus to analyze a very specific skillset; we see how sales officers rate their ability to listen to client stakeholders and uncover real business needs.

The opportunity

Once a bank’s sales officers have completed the survey, GCI can identify areas for improvement by contrasting the bank’s survey data to peer banks that participate in the benchmarking study.  As a bank takes measures to improve performance, GCI can customize the survey to help monitor progress.  We can also segment the bank’s survey data to track more detailed groups of sales officers (e.g. specific markets, client segments, or performance bands).