Based on a broad set of indicators of individual and company capabilities, this research sets out to establish a meaningful, straight forward benchmark of sales performance for a cross-industry group of 19 companies, based on the perceptions of their sales people. The establishment of the benchmark involved the completion of questionnaires by 426 sales people across 19 companies. The research identified some areas for development common to most companies in the survey. Although comprehensive, this survey needs to be repeated over time to maintain the benchmark. Benchmarking can be helpful to many companies trying to improve their sales capability. This is a practical case study of a benchmarking approach to developing the sales function in a number of organisations.