Research Centre

Credible research is the foundation of the Journal’s approach to understanding what works and what doesn’t in sales. Most importantly, it tells us why. Here you’ll find the latest research from academic institutions, top consultancies and industry sales leaders – including the Journal’s own specially commissioned research – interpreted from a business perspective.

Virtual training can be better than the classroom

September 11th, 2019 by

New, controlled field test proves effectiveness of online alternative. When it comes to creating lasting behaviour change in salespeople, the assumption is that virtual sales skills training is a pale imitation of in-person classroom training. But what if an online training alternative could be proven as effective, if not more effective than classroom training? Can you imagine the possibilities for… 


NeGOtiate&WIN

September 11th, 2019 by

How a unified negotiations approach drives customer loyalty and more revenue for SAP. The digital revolution is having a dramatic effect on the sales world. Listening to the customer, taking their concerns and strategic objectives on board, and using their feedback to identify the best possible solution has always proved to be an effective strategy. However, sales success can also… 


Navigating choppy economic waters

September 10th, 2019 by

World-class sellers don’t expect success; they prepare for it. On the face of it, sellers appear to be on a winning streak. New figures from CSO Insights (the research division of Miller Heiman Group) reveal that, over the period 2017–19, sales organisations globally saw a 7% increase across both revenue and quota target attainment. However, before sales teams are too… 


2019 Q3 Research Review – edited by Jeremy Noad

September 10th, 2019 by

These pages aim to keep readers up to date with recently published research on sales-related topics. The review highlights short abstracts of academically peer-reviewed research from a range of academic journals. In this edition, the abstracts are across two themes that focus on sales performance and sales behaviours Sales Performance Fail fast in the initial stages of the sales process… 


Gaining executive access

September 10th, 2019 by

The approach advocated by so many executive access strategies finished dead last. Original research explores messaging approaches for gaining access to senior execs… and which approach works best. Getting meetings with senior executives has never been more important, but any salesperson you ask will say that it’s now harder than ever. The conventional wisdom is that, if you want to… 


Research identifies three key sales competencies

September 10th, 2019 by

As B2B buying behaviour evolves, how can sales organisations adapt? This is the third of a series of articles in which Dr Simon Kelly, Dr Paul Johnston and Stacey Danheiser explore customer value and differentiation. In this article they offer an early view into their latest research around the roles and competencies required by salespeople to help their organisations differentiate… 


Questions or insights?

September 10th, 2019 by

Context is important in sales meetings. Successful approaches vary according to the level and function of the executive you are speaking to and how far along the buying journey they may be. Writing in Harvard Business Review, Journal contributor Dr Frank Cespedes and Tracy DeCicco warn of the negative consequences of choosing the wrong sales approach for the circumstances, such… 


Inside sales organisations risk losing 24% of employees

September 10th, 2019 by

Some 24% of inside sellers are actively looking for a new job, with the three most common reasons being dissatisfaction with the competitiveness of compensation package, manager quality, and the degree of respect the organisation shows employees. That’s according to findings from Gartner’s Global Labor Market Survey. The survey also highlights factors that would pull sales representatives to similar jobs… 


CSOs’ top three 2019 priorities – Gartner

September 10th, 2019 by

1. Improve effectiveness of sales development activities… 


Why seamless is important

September 10th, 2019 by

Success metrics are refocusing around customer experience…. 


Acquisition not the same as expansion

June 26th, 2019 by

The 1st Annual Customer Expansion Marketing and… 


Working together to deliver growth

June 26th, 2019 by

How L&D can support sales transformation by collaborating with the sales leadership team. In this case study, RS Components Director of Learning and Development, Ian Wearne explains how L&D, sales leadership and salespeople collaborated to create a sales development programme that is transforming employee engagement and sales performance. In keeping salespeople at the top of their game, learning and development… 


2019 Q2 Research Review – edited by Jeremy Noad

June 26th, 2019 by

These pages aim to keep readers up to date with recently published research on sales-related topics. The review highlights short abstracts of academically peer-reviewed research from a range of academic journals. In this edition, the abstracts are across three themes that focus on behavioural studies, sales performance and customer management. Behavioural studies True grit, for salespeople as well as John… 


Putting personalization to the (field) test

June 26th, 2019 by

Here we set out to discover what sort of communications personalization actually does drive action. One of the most-quoted lines in movie history comes from the classic film The Godfather. After Michael, the emerging leader of the Corleone crime family, lays out a ruthless plan for revenge against his enemies, he punctuates his strategy with the memorable line: “It’s not… 


Win Rates

June 25th, 2019 by

Win rates are an important metric for… 


From salesperson to sales manager

March 27th, 2019 by

How to make a successful transition from individual contributor to manager? Project aim The purpose of this project is to examine whether the transition from high-performing salesperson to effective sales manager can be made more successful. As McCall (2010) highlights, there is a big risk to this promotion: “When situations change dramatically, as is the case when a person is… 


2019 Q1 Research Review – edited by Jeremy Noad

March 22nd, 2019 by

These pages aim to keep readers up to date with recently published research on sales-related topics. The review highlights short abstracts of academically peer-reviewed research from a range of academic journals. In this edition, the abstracts focus on three themes: sales performance; customer management, and sales-related behavioural studies. Sales performance Salespeople’s ability to learn impacts value-based selling approaches This paper… 


Should sorry be the hardest word?

March 22nd, 2019 by

New research reveals a formula for communicating an apology that generates greater customer satisfaction and loyalty after a service failure. Service recovery paradox Have you ever had a service problem with a customer and worried about the negative impact it would have on your relationship and long-term revenue prospects? Maybe they won’t renew. Maybe they won’t buy more. And, worse,… 


Creating a sales control system

March 22nd, 2019 by

This project from 2016 explores how to create a sales control system designed to deliver a company’s key objectives. Introduction Sales is no longer an independent isolated function within an organisation, but is an integral and cross-functional part of a company’s strategy (Storbacka et al 2011). Sales now not only executes the strategy, but helps create and drive the strategy… 


Why don’t goals work?

March 21st, 2019 by

That’s a question many of us ask…