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.

Business impact of sales training

May 18th, 2018 by

When SAP decided it had a need for teams to implement a new sales strategy to better address customer needs, it implemented a Challenger programme (alongside other components). Importantly, the company decided to include robust business impact metrics. Pipeline analysis* Account executives with a minimum of 180 days’ experience in their role at the time of the training have: +


Sales coaching for the digital age

May 18th, 2018 by

How Big Data-Driven Coaching has been boosting win rates. Maintaining a position of pre-eminence in the highly competitive IT industry requires leaders to adapt to changes in the business landscape more rapidly than the competition. Continued success also relies on the development of innovative sales enablement techniques that boost performance, help meet customer needs and achieve bottom-line results. Digital Transformation… 


2018 Q2 Research Review – edited by Jeremy Noad

May 18th, 2018 by

These pages aim to keep readers informed of recently published research on sales-related topics, by including abstracts of peer-reviewed academic research published in a range of journals. In this edition, we have grouped them into four broad themes: sales performance, customer management, capability development, and behavioural studies. Sales performance Sales organisations need to transform Professional sales and sales management are… 


Can a coaching culture improve the level of performance of salespeople in SMEs?

May 18th, 2018 by

Coaching in Ireland is in the early stage of its life cycle, mostly used by “early adopters” rather than being in the mainstream of management tools. The use of coaching in companies as a development tool for employees has exploded over the past 15 to 20 years. According to a report by Frank Bresser (2009) there are about 43,000 to… 


Recruiting coachable salespeople

May 18th, 2018 by

Can organisations understand how to recruit salespeople who are adaptable, coachable, and willing to embrace new learning? What makes a good salesperson? Arguably there are many characteristics and behaviours, and whilst some commentators pigeon-hole salespeople with simplistic titles to define their characters (Dixon and Adamson 2011), others take a different view and suggest that great salespeople demonstrate “differentiating mind-sets”, reflected… 


Challenged to transform

May 18th, 2018 by

We talk a lot about transformation but how often does training involve genuine transformation? In the case of global software and services giant SAP there was an urgent need for a thorough transformation in the way the organisation sold, driven by major disruption in the market caused by the migration of IT systems away from an on-premises model onto the… 


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… 


With diversity comes great story responsibility

March 25th, 2018 by

Diversity brings the risk of fragmentation, but the best companies are able to project a single voice by telling a consistently engaging story. Today, an employee base with diverse experiences, skills and perspectives is one of your biggest organizational strengths. But like many good things, a diverse talent pool, for all the brainpower and energy and dynamism it adds to… 


Unconscious bias in employment

March 25th, 2018 by

Unconscious bias in business is apparent across… 


D&I snapshot

March 12th, 2018 by

Delegates at Consalia’s 12th Global Sales Transformation conference in Singapore on 19 September 2017 offered their collective thoughts on the state of diversity and inclusion today, and where it is headed in the future. FOR MORE INFORMATION +


2018 Q1 Research Review – edited by Jeremy Noad

March 12th, 2018 by

These pages aim to keep readers informed of recently published research on sales related topics, by including abstracts of peer-reviewed academic research published in a range of journals. In this edition, we have grouped them into four broad themes: sales performance, customer management, behavioural studies, and systems and tools. Sales performance Value-based selling is critical for sales excellence A value-based… 


Three often-overlooked topics to enhance sales practice

March 12th, 2018 by

Why the three topics of coaching, change management and stakeholder engagement should be considered more seriously in the development of sales managers and sales professionals identified as high performers. Introduction I identified three topics I considered to be important to sales that were not usually taught or self-selected by salespeople, and that I believed would help outperformance in the long… 


Retaining high-performing salespeople

March 11th, 2018 by

Research findings uncover what high-performing salespeople want from their organizations and, just as importantly, what they don’t want. Understanding both categories is critical for organizations and leaders who want to create affective commitment and ultimately retain their best-performing salespeople. As a successful salesperson and a manager of salespeople, I am passionately interested in how high-performing salespeople can be engaged and… 


Ethics in sales: a novel approach to sales education

March 8th, 2018 by

Completed in May 2016, this Masters project investigates links between ethics and education, and sets out to evaluate the impact that longer-term education will have on individual sales behaviour. The aim of this research is to investigate if there is a link between the subject of ethics and education, and to evaluate the impact that longer-term education will have on… 


“Why evolve?”

March 8th, 2018 by

New research identifies how best to handle upselling or cross-sell conversations. “What about this selling situation?” That’s typically the first question we hear whenever we’ve conducted a study that sheds light on the buyer psychology of some critical moment in the purchase cycle. There’s always somebody waiting with the next question that needs to be run through the research gauntlet…. 


Mind the gap

December 16th, 2017 by

Many people talk about the gap between sales and bid teams, but does that gap really exist, to what degree, why, and what suggestions do people have to close that gap? Research based on cross-functional input from 148 executives seeks to answer these questions. Research methodology The research was carried out through a six-question 360 (survey), circulated via social media… 


2017 Q4 Research Review – edited by Jeremy Noad

December 16th, 2017 by

These pages aim to keep readers informed of recently published research on sales related topics, by including abstracts of peer-reviewed academic research published in a range of journals. In this edition, we have grouped them into three broad themes: sales performance, customer management and behavioural studies. Sales Performance Can inexperienced sales professionals get lucky without working smart or hard? Inexperienced… 


Different sales and marketing thought-worlds

December 15th, 2017 by

Which cross-functional integration mechanisms improve the relationship between sales and marketing functions? The article by Douek on the importance of intra-collaboration between sales teams in complex sales situations in the previous edition of the Journal has highlighted the need to revisit the thorny subject of the internal relationship between sales and marketing functions. Previous research has established that where there… 


“Why now?” What message moves executive buyers to act?

December 14th, 2017 by

New research reveals the most effective story for making a breakthrough business case to executive-level buyers. In the previous issue of the Journal, I laid out why there’s serious urgency around salespeople needing to become better at making a compelling business case that moves executive-level decision-makers to buy now. I discussed how business proposals need to become more executive-relevant –… 


Trust selling: a new source of business competitiveness

December 13th, 2017 by

Vice chancellor of the Seoul School of Integrated Science and Technology, Dr Choi Yong Joo discusses the research around trust, social capital and value in the context of Korea. Social capital Research on “social capital” as a new source of competitiveness is very much in full swing. In 1997, Professor Francis Fukuyama at Stanford University – a renowned academic and…