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January 31, 2007
Best Practices for Driving Sales Force Excellence
Research compiles metrics of more than 40 top organizations

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. – January 31, 2007 – The continuing commoditization of products and services poses an immediate threat to companies across the globe. To foster loyalty and preserve customer relationships, savvy business leaders emphasize the need for their field sales forces to secure, nurture and grow customer relationships like never before.

Importantly, organizations with well-developed and highly-trained field sales forces have learned that they can do more with less, while generating superior results. Indeed, successful companies have discovered that long-term profitability lies in training sales people to identify their top revenue-generating customers, thoroughly understand their needs and consistently allocate time for on-going dialogues with them.

To help sales force executives across numerous industries better understand the effectiveness of their current sales forces, Best Practices, LLC has released a new study, "Field Sales Force Effectiveness", which probes such areas as: Sales Force Structure, Span of Control, Time Management, Training, Recruiting & Hiring, Compensation and more. A complimentary study excerpt is available at

The research report is a compilation of compelling sales force metrics illuminating the current state of affairs at over forty elite organizations, including Pfizer, General Electric, Johnson & Johnson, Kraft, Eli Lilly, Microsoft, Novartis and Wyeth.

A small sample of the key metrics gathered from the study data include:

Time Management: Effective field sales representatives spend 21% of their time building solutions by actively listening to customer needs and communicating the value their product will offer to the client.
Span of Control: The average manager-to-sales rep ratio is 1:8, while top quartile organizations report ratios of 1:10 or more.
Sales Training: On average, field sales persons receive 33 days of formal training in their first year on the job. Experienced sales reps enjoy an average of 7 days of ongoing training per year.

To discover more sales force performance benchmarks and key findings from the comprehensive report, visit

BEST PRACTICES, LLC is a research and advisory services firm that conducts work based on the principle that organizations can chart a course to superior economic performance by studying the best business practices, operating tactics and winning strategies of world-class companies. For more information, call (919) 403-0251 or visit

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