Insight

Do you need to understand a sales-related topic in more depth? Respected business thought-leaders and academics shine the light on current issues facing the global sales community.

Alliance sales: the third-generation sales model

March 21st, 2019 by

Alliances between organisations can be marriages made in heaven, or they can go horribly wrong…. When organisations are first formed, whether in garages in Silicon Valley or back bedrooms in Bangalore, the original founders use the first-generation sales model to grow the business. That is, they “sell to” people. They sell to fellow enthusiasts to convince them to join the… 


Transitioning from sales training to sales education

March 21st, 2019 by

As part of a wider professionalisation of the sales function, forward-looking companies are discovering the benefits of sales education as a way to equip their people to thrive in today’s complex and challenging business environment. Today’s business landscape is challenging in multiple ways: it’s super competitive; technology is forcing us to deal with change and adapt our go-to-market models at… 


Putting the value in value propositions

March 21st, 2019 by

This is the first of a series of articles in which the authors explore customer value and differentiation. In this article Dr Simon Kelly and Dr Paul Johnston consider the importance of customer value and its criticality in building effective value propositions. They draw together their experience as marketing and sales practitioners, their recent academic and commercial research, and their… 


Which sales methodology is best for your organisation?

March 21st, 2019 by

There is a general recognition – backed by the latest research from CSO Insights and others – that sales organisations that have adopted a structured approach to selling consistently and often dramatically outperform their less-effective competitors. One of the key foundations of a structured approach to selling involves the adoption of an appropriate sales methodology. You might think of these… 


ABM: a foundation for partnership

December 18th, 2018 by

Bob Apollo on Building Scalable Businesses Account-based marketing (ABM), along with its all-embracing cousin “account-based everything”, have been touted by its promoters as a miracle cure capable of halting the precipitate decline in conventional marketing effectiveness – and derided by cynical detractors as just another over-hyped trend. As with most new(ish) trends, the reality is probably somewhere in between. The… 


SPIN Selling

December 18th, 2018 by

In this series of articles we look at some of the most popular sales methodologies. What’s the difference between a methodology and a process? In sales, the methodology is the application of general – possibly universal – principles to the way we approach a component of the sales cycle albeit that it may also be contextual. A process, in contrast,… 


Implementing KAM: 1

September 21st, 2018 by

Here we explore designing customer-centric processes for mutual growth. More than three decades of research and managerial practice have informed the development of a solid knowledge base for defining and planning key account management (KAM). Executives attending our KAM training programmes and commissioning consulting interventions tell us time and time again that the crucial challenge is the implementation of KAM…. 


Sales enablement and the performance gap

September 12th, 2018 by

The primary goal of sales enablement must surely be to increase sales effectiveness by progressively reducing the performance gap between our best sales people and the rest, measured by revenue and other tangible metrics. But it seems to me that a number of sales enablement programmes (typically the less successful ones) have made insufficient efforts to understand the winning behaviours… 


Opportunity coaching for fun and profit

May 17th, 2018 by

You’ll notice a number of articles elsewhere in this edition on the subject of coaching. I want to use this short piece to focus on an area that has become a particular interest of mine: using coaching techniques to help our salespeople develop more effective opportunity strategies. I’ve observed organisations that do a particularly effective job of opportunity coaching, viewed… 


Moving customers beyond bias

March 26th, 2018 by

SAP’s D&I strategy seeks to build a more inclusive workforce and better business results. SAP is in an industry where the pace of innovation separates the winners from the losers, and a greater variety of insights and experiences leads to new ideas and innovations. We recognised this need and embarked on a strategy to ensure we were drawing on and… 


Replicants replace salespeople?

March 26th, 2018 by

“More human than human”: The motto of the Tyrell Corporation, from the 1982 film Blade Runner. Recently watching that movie again, in preparation for a showing of the sequel Blade Runner 2049, I was struck (as I often am) by the interesting differences in what we can imagine the future to be like for different technologies. Of course, Blade Runner… 


The many dimensions of diversity

March 25th, 2018 by

If, as many successful scale-ups are, we are on a mission to challenge the status quo and to get our prospective customers to think differently about their critical business issues, we would be wise to ensure that we are accommodating diverse perspectives and experiences within our own organisations. I’m not talking about the demographic dimensions of diversity – of age,… 


Motivating and rewarding the sales force

December 16th, 2017 by

In previous articles of this series in the International Journal of Sales Transformation, “Managing and Measuring Sales Performance” and “Setting Sales Targets”, we presented an outline of the properties of effective sales performance measurement systems guidelines to minimise the unintended consequences of sales targets. In this last article of the series, we address employee motivation and its relation to sales… 


Evaluating and solving problems

December 13th, 2017 by

Over the past year or so, I’ve written a series of columns on important issues around how science works, and how this can be applied to your job in the sales force. I looked at how to think like a scientist, how to ask good questions, how to design research to answer those questions, and how to watch out for… 


Continuously developing sales competencies

December 13th, 2017 by

I’m not sure that what you might describe as the “traditional” approach to sales skills development – sending salespeople on an occasional formal sales training course based on one of the many standard methodologies – ever delivered consistent results in terms of driving sustained performance improvement. And that was in yesterday’s relatively static marketplaces! In today’s fast-changing business environment, sales… 


Perfectionists versus pragmatists

September 22nd, 2017 by

Most learning models that encourage salespeople to adapt their selling styles to meet the needs of different buyer “types” don’t easily translate across to B2B selling scenarios. The author proposes a new model based on personal experience. The new model being proposed here provides a more practical learning tool, at least for those salespeople for whom it has been designed… 


Sales in the age of analytics

September 21st, 2017 by

It would be hard to argue against the idea that we’re living in an age of analytics. For many large organisations selling to the public through B2C channels, analytics has become a critical competitive weapon, whether it’s our favourite online shopping site tempting us to make another related purchase, or our local supermarket ensuring that they don’t run out of… 


How to sell value to a CEO

April 23rd, 2017 by

Selling value is essential to today’s sales professional. We speak to President of Capmatic, Alioscia Bassani to uncover his tried-and-tested techniques for selling value to the C-suite. This sales process uncovers the CEO’s critical business needs and develops value solutions that address the long-term business challenges of concern to senior executives. Ask Alioscia Bassani what business he’s in and his… 


Understanding the buying mind-set

April 23rd, 2017 by

Three easy-to-remember quotes from buyers will help get you on their wavelength. Let’s be honest: nobody likes being “sold to”. We like to think that we are controlling the buying cycle, whether it’s a personal purchase or a corporate procurement. If we experience “blatant” or “clumsy” sales tactics, then we react badly; but, if we feel the salesperson is contributing… 


The importance of values

April 23rd, 2017 by

In an original project submitted for his Doctor of Professional Studies qualification, Phil Squire asked: How can a “client-centric values” approach to selling lead to the “co-creation” of a new global selling mind-set? Here’s what he found out. In 2002, I conducted an interview with the Chief Information Officer of IMS Health, a large, global, pharmaceutical company. The subject of…