Sales and Sales Management Blog

January 13, 2009

Book Review: Making the Number: How to Use Sales Benchmarking to Drive Performance


making-the-numberMaking the Number. How to Use Sales Benchmarking to Drive Performance. By Greg Alexander, Arron Batels &  Mike Drapeau; Portfolio, 2008

Greg Alexander, Aaron Batels, and Mike Drapeau have written a very serious book for very serious sales leaders.  The authors have tackled one of sales great issues-tracking ROI on sales investment, and packed a great deal of wisdom and challenge in a relatively modest 288 pages.

Although many still view sales as far more art than science, leaving little room for serious number crunching of performance and production factors, Making the Number sets out a detailed process for establishing and analyzing sales metrics-and more importantly, the real world impact and change such a process can bring to a company and a sales team.

One of the few but growing number of sources that seeks to address the process of benchmarking sales in depth, Making the Number should be required reading for any sales leader who is seriously interested in full accountability for and development of the sales department.

The authors try to bring their theory down to the real world by illustrating their concepts through case studies of Discover Financial Services and FranklinCovey, as well as several other companies.  This is a theory book-but also a very practical application book.

By far the most irritating aspect of the book for me (although one that has become the norm in the business sector of publishing) is the repeated reference to–and by inference promoting of–the author’s company, Sales Benchmark Index.

No matter what level of sales leader you are, I would encourage you to get a copy and work your way through it.  It isn’t a weekend read by any means.  As I said, it’s a serious book for serious sales leaders with serious results for those who implement what they learn.

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