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.

Fixing the broken financial services model

July 6th, 2015 by

How can sales survive in a banking sector beset by scandal? Interest rate hedging products where businesses were mis-sold complex insurance deals… tax dodging… manipulation of the London interbank lending rate (LIBOR) to boost profit from trades… money laundering… the manipulation of foreign exchange rates by out-of-control rogue traders – these have been the scandals which for many have come… 

To improve sales, pay more attention to presales

July 5th, 2015 by

As buying behaviour becomes more sophisticated, presales has emerged as a vital engine in the sales pipeline, argues McKinsey & Co. At a time when CEOs are on a constant quest for growth, there is a promising but often overlooked capability available close to home: presales. Building on our analysis of what drives performance in our book Sales Growth, we… 

Competing against “do nothing”

July 5th, 2015 by

If you’re involved in complex sales in a B2B environment, your most significant competitor is almost certainly not another vendor, but the status quo. According to the latest findings from Sirius Decisions, Sales Benchmark Index and many other respected researchers, an increasingly common outcome for even well-qualified sales opportunities is not a win, or a competitive loss, but a decision… 

Researchers and consultants discuss the power of first-line sales managers

April 12th, 2015 by

Blackdot on the value of sales managers First-line sales managers are drivers of performance for pharma sales representatives, as they are in other industries… The profound and compounding impact sales managers have on their sales teams means that 1 high-performing sales manager is as valuable as a handful of high-performing sales reps. High-performing sales managers manage teams that achieve superior… 

Challenging Challenger

April 11th, 2015 by

The debate swirling around the controversial “Challenger” approach to selling has raised important questions about the way ahead for the sales profession. Chris Alder investigates. It’s probably fair to say that few books on the art of selling have caused quite so much of a stir as the one published in 2011 entitled The Challenger Sale – Taking Control of… 

Can two stars ever shine together?

April 11th, 2015 by

Last year’s spat between Mercedes Formula 1 team drivers has implications for the performance of business teams, a recent study suggests. HOW does a sales manager harness the abilities of two competing star performers in the sales team to best advantage? The manager’s skill at getting the best out of his team could have a significant impact on the fortunes… 

Aligning strategy and sales

April 11th, 2015 by

Harvard Business School’s Dr Frank Cespedes tells Nick de Cent why strategy is even more relevant in an era of constant change. NdeC: Does strategy still work in an era of constant change? What is the role of a business strategy in these conditions? FC: Some now say that strategy is less important – and may, in fact, be an… 

Key transformational trends in selling

April 11th, 2015 by

Organisations need to understand how selling is evolving and to involve sales leadership in developing strategies to thrive in the new environment.   Summary Professional selling is undergoing significant and unprecedented change that, in turn, profoundly impacts the role of the professional salesperson. Change has always been part of professional selling; however, the scale and speed of that change has… 

Buyers are growing up too

April 11th, 2015 by

While most areas of business have changed in recent years, none has seen as dramatic a revolution as procurement and supply chain management, argues David Noble, CEO at CIPS. Speaking exclusively to the International Journal of Sales Transformation, Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply chief executive officer David Noble explains that the profession has had to change dramatically to keep… 

Does pharma truly understand KAM?

April 11th, 2015 by

Nick de Cent finds that pharma thought-leaders are successfully adapting KAM models to their own ecosystem. Not all big accounts are key accounts. That’s one important lesson that the pharma industry has been learning the hard way. Another is that effective key account management (KAM) is more about finding effective solutions than simply flogging product in a more complex environment…. 

Two types of value

April 11th, 2015 by

Todd Snelgrove on how customer intelligence can help you define your strategic approach to value, with a choice of two approaches. As salespeople, we need to use our understanding of the customer, and each decision maker within a customer, to decide what drives them professionally and personally and to know which sales strategy is best suited to engage them in… 

Intelligence collection: the second-oldest profession

April 11th, 2015 by

Can business learn any lessons from the professional intelligence community? Dr John Ardis suggests we can. During the Cold War, teams of intelligence analysts would pore over microfilm and squint at grainy aerial photographs. Human intelligence sources (or HUMINT in the vernacular – better known as spies) provided secret information about weapons, other spies, dark strategies and double bluffs. You… 

The intelligent approach

April 11th, 2015 by

Truly understanding the customer underpinned the success of this hugely complex mega-deal. We talk to William Mills of Atos about how information really is power. Succeeding in a sales environment sometimes means turning over long-cherished beliefs such as: all negative thoughts are destructive. It was this ability to embrace the problems when creating a bid for new business that enabled… 

Leaders link ethics to performance

April 7th, 2015 by

What is the relationship between sales ethics and business performance? Professor Mark Johnston takes us through the latest research. From Apple to Volkswagen, the axiom – ethical business is good business – is firmly embedded in today’s corporate culture. While this ethical business model is driven at all levels and throughout the organisation, nowhere is it more important than the… 

Character wins through

April 7th, 2015 by

Is there link between a leader’s character and business performance? Research conducted by Dr Fred Kiel and his team indicates there is. Here, he talks to editor Nick de Cent. NdeC: Can you summarise the link between high-character leaders* and business performance? FK: We studied the lives and leadership skills of over 100 CEOs. We interviewed and surveyed these CEOs,… 

“Crossing the Chasm” revisited

April 7th, 2015 by

When Geoffrey Moore published the first edition of Crossing the Chasm over 20 years ago, it rapidly became a B2B sales and marketing classic – rated by Inc. magazine as one of the top-ten marketing books of all time. Moore’s focus on the behavioural chasm that exists between innovators and pragmatist buyers was a revelation to a generation of technology…