Engage

HAVE YOUR SAY. Engage with the Journal. This is the place where you can make a comment on any issue concerning the world of sales. Or ask a question and we’ll try to find an answer. (This area is curated by admins.)

Finding new ways to win new customers

December 13th, 2017 by

In the current uncertain climate it’s time for UK businesses to sell big, sell global and stay relevant. The pace of technological progression and the impact of globalisation are increasingly disorienting. Society One is one of the world’s fastest-growing lenders, but does not own the money it loans; Google is the world’s largest software vendor but it doesn’t own any… 


Is your organisation leaking value?

November 20th, 2017 by

The spiral of value leakage starts when organisations fail to focus on the customer and what they value. Instead, businesses should focus on creating “infinite value”. Peter Drucker is famous for making the following observation: “Because the purpose of a business is to create a customer, the business enterprise has two (and only two) basic functions: marketing and innovation.” If… 


Apprenticeship plan lights way forward for sales

April 22nd, 2017 by

New milestone passed on the route to sales professionalism. Momentous change is happening everywhere. It’s manifest in business, in politics, through the ebb and flow of people and talent around the world, in the climate, and not least in the advent of technology – and this is just as true in the world of selling as it is in other… 


Transforming sales is not enough

April 22nd, 2017 by

If you’re serious about growth, transform marketing too. A few years ago, I was part of the management team that rapidly grew a mature outsourcing business in just one year, while increasing profitability too. Our strategy was to shift from being a reactive business, waiting for RFPs to arrive, to a proactive one targeting the specific accounts that would deliver… 


The new age of sales enlightenment

January 28th, 2017 by

2017 looks set to be a landmark on the road to sales professionalism. Could 2017 be a turning point for the sales profession? There are a number of factors that play into this question. First of all, we can see inescapable signs of the growing importance of sales roles within a wider business context. Equally, there is an increasing emphasis… 


Digital bolt-ons not an instant service solution

January 28th, 2017 by

Although social media is becoming the customer services platform of choice for large organisations, many are not getting the basics right. The rise of social media (Facebook, Twitter, Facebook Messenger) is driving change in the way customer-service leaders manage their operation. In today’s digital world, customers are more fickle, delight in sharing their horror stories, and demand an instantaneous response…. 


Introducing the Digital Sales Funnel

November 29th, 2016 by

Introduced in 1898, the traditional purchase funnel no longer applies. Sales needs a lead-generation model for the digital environment. There is one perennial truth in sales and that is, salespeople have to prospect in the places their customers inhabit. This has led salespeople to visit exhibitions and conferences, attend relevant networking events and even knock on the doors at certain… 


A battle of ideologies

September 3rd, 2016 by

In the main, businesspeople and especially salespeople are a pragmatic bunch. They’re resilient, happy to take things in their stride, and seek opportunity whatever the circumstances. All of which came across in our post-referendum Brexit survey conducted in conjunction with a number of world-class organisations. What also became apparent was that the sentiment of the majority of respondents was largely… 


Sales Leadership: the dynamic management of paradoxes

September 3rd, 2016 by

Leading modern sales forces requires us to develop synergies between paradoxes that may initially appear irreconcilable. I’m aboard the “Baie de Seine”, the ferry that covers the route Portsmouth–Bilbao. I am sitting at the back of the vessel watching the foamy trace it leaves on the sea and the seagulls that escort the ship, relentlessly defying the winds. It’s a… 


Sales as a career of choice

April 7th, 2016 by

Are we on the verge of breakthrough? Will sales become a destination career? Could sales as a career choice be turning a corner in terms of its popularity with undergraduates? If so, this is good news, because selling is actually the number one destination for business school students. The organisers of this year’s Sales Educators’ Academy Conference at Aston Business… 


The impact of intelligent Win-Loss processes

April 4th, 2016 by

You may have lost the bid but taking the trouble to find out why helps build trust. There’s a growing interest in the value to be gained by conducting detailed Win-Loss analyses: the statistics we shared in the October 2015 edition of the Journal (see page 58) caught the attention of readers and when they were later shared online. However,… 


Opening up business opportunity

January 28th, 2016 by

Why sales leaders should aspire to a diverse and qualified sales organisation. Interestingly, just as many employers and universities are ramping up their interest in degree-level education for salespeople, other professions and business sectors are moving away from a narrow restriction based around employing only graduates. Publishers Random House (owners of Penguin) recently announced that the company is seeking a… 


Diversity – my personal journey

January 28th, 2016 by

When it comes to diversity, are we asking the right question? A decade after setting up my business I won a “Women in Business” award. I was intrigued by my reaction: I was delighted to be recognised but uncomfortable with the notion of being singled out because of my gender. I remember a rush of indignation when asked in the… 


Ethics codes help salespeople too

October 31st, 2015 by

It’s not just customers who need protection from unethical behaviour; a code of ethics would also help defend salespeople. Who at Volkswagen could possibly have thought it would be a good idea to install emissions-test-cheating software in the company’s diesel cars? The scam sought to disguise output of nitrogen oxide pollutants up to 40 times the level allowed in the… 


Increased sales scrutiny: are you ready?

October 31st, 2015 by

Sales should be a core agent of strategy, not just a vehicle for a given selling methodology. In my career, I have attended many strategy meetings. Very few articulate the implications of espoused strategies for Sales. Moreover, the process for introducing new initiatives often exacerbates the separation of the “strategists” from the “doers” in the field. The typical process is… 


We all sell something

July 1st, 2015 by

Where selling was once seen as the “white-collar equivalent of cleaning toilets”, now it’s the skill that everybody needs. We’re all salespeople today. The problem is that too many people in society – including a worryingly large number of leaders at the top of big corporations – remain in denial about this plain, simple truth. We used to think of… 


Can’t pay, won’t pay!

July 1st, 2015 by

Why it has become commonplace for organisations to seek to avoid paying commission earned by salespeople? Commission payments seem so simple in concept: the salesperson wins a deal and the employer pays a certain percentage of its value to reward him or her for this success and the benefit it brings to the company. In reality, incentives are a minefield:… 


It’s the start of something big!

April 7th, 2015 by

Sales is evolving into a true profession as corporations, practitioners and academics combine in the search for excellence. Welcome to the very first issue of the International Journal of Sales Transformation. As salespeople, managers and leaders, we are rightly proud of the fact that we are in the front line of business, creating and facilitating exchanges of value and aiming… 


Bridging the gulf between professors and practitioners

April 7th, 2015 by

As sales continues to develop at breakneck pace, business and academics need to open channels of communication. For well over a century, there have been organised attempts to increase sales professionalism. The case for doing so is nowhere more engagingly expressed than in an editorial appearing in 1884 in the magazine of the Society of Commercial Travelers: “If we do…