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Sandler Research Center Survey Identifies Three Critical Best Practices of Effective SMB Sales Leaders

In early summer 2023, the Sandler Research Center fielded a survey to measure current responses to a number of questions of interest to sales leaders.

The intent was to provide an annual review of trends in sales leadership, and to provide a snapshot of several critical benchmarks relevant to the sales space. The survey, the 2023 Sandler Sales Benchmark Report, was completed by more than 300 respondents, predominantly managers of organizations with an annual income of $10 million dollars or lower whose organizations were based in North America.

Three key takeaways our data showed point toward critical best practices implemented by leaders of small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), including:

  • An ongoing emphasis on internal sales management training and coaching.
  • A commitment to collaborative engagement with the marketing department in their organization.
  • A focus on continual development and updating/renewal of ideal client profiles.

Here’s a brief overview of the relevant survey results.

Ongoing Emphasis on Internal Sales Management Training and Coaching

More than two-thirds of respondents who reported that most of their team members were at or above quota – 77% – reported that the training sales managers received at their organization prior to taking on the role manager was “effective” – a significant increase over previous annual survey responses. This suggests that the most effective SMB sales teams are making  training and coaching an organizational priority.

An even higher percentage of teams where a majority of the team members were at or above quota – 83% – reported that sales managers at their organization were “effective” at one-on-one sales coaching.

Commitment to Collaboratively Engage With Marketing

In response to the question, “Does your business development strategy involve both Sales and Marketing functions?”, 95% of respondents whose teams had a majority of salespeople who were at or above quote answered that that collaboration with Marketing occurred “sometimes” or “always.”

Continual Development/Updating of Ideal Client Profiles

In response to the question, “Has your organization created a profile of the characteristics of an ideal client?”, 65% of sales professionals with teams where a majority of salespeople were at or above quota replied “Yes.”  



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