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.

Strategic priorities of B2B customer management

October 1st, 2015 by

What did companies prioritise? The first section of the report reveals that, at the overall level, Relationship & value building (farming) takes top priority. However, it is not an emphatic victory – it comes out on top because half the respondents rated it in their top three. People & competencies is a strong second overall and Brand & proposition completes… 


Global gaps in core sales skills

July 7th, 2015 by

Methodology This dataset was provided by a sample of 500 people who sat the Core Sales Skills module of SalesAssessment.com’s Universal Sales Skills Audit (USSA) during Q1 2015. The sample consisted of a block of anonymised data, with a random start point in the USSA candidate database. This random sample included candidates from the UK, USA, Dubai, Jordan and Egypt…. 


20% of US B2B sales jobs to go by 2020; only “consultants” to thrive

July 7th, 2015 by

Forrester Research forecasts that one million US B2B salespeople will lose their jobs to self-service eCommerce by the year 2020. Its report Death Of A (B2B) Salesman estimates that, of the 4.5 million US workers employed in B2B sales and sales-related professions in 2012, just over 20% of all B2B salespeople will be displaced. Author Andy Hoar explains: “While B2B… 


Can contracts boost trust?

July 6th, 2015 by

As businesses start to compete on their ability to perform and deliver results over time, contract terms are becoming the new platform for successful selling, argues the IACCM’s CEO Tim Cummins. Successful selling has never been an easy task. As time passes, it seems to become harder. Buyers are increasingly informed, aggressive and often cynical. Internet search has disrupted the… 


Field of dreams

July 6th, 2015 by

When SAP set out to update its go-to-market approach, sales enablement also embarked on its own journey in support of the process. Axel Ferreyrolles talks about his voyage of discovery. With the advent of “the cloud”, shifting market conditions and changing customer expectations, enterprise application software giant SAP understood that it had to adapt. For Axel Ferreyrolles, head of sales… 


How profits fight poverty

July 6th, 2015 by

Dr Roy Whitten and Scott Roy discuss how selling can be a catalyst for change and a force for good in the developing world. Selling stuff to poor people – sounds shameful, doesn’t it? Well, it isn’t ¬– that is, if you want them to actually use products that can literally change their lives. Sanitary latrines that prevent contamination of… 


Have you thought about this?

July 6th, 2015 by

Tim Riesterer, chief strategy officer at Corporate Visions, explains why articulating a customer’s “unconsidered needs” can make you stand out. The proposition Does the following scenario sound familiar? It’s your first sales conversation with a prospect in the field. There you are, face-to-face with a potential buyer, launching into your pitch. So far, so good. Why wouldn’t it be? You… 


2015 Q3 Research Review – edited by Jeremy Noad

July 6th, 2015 by

These pages aim to keep readers informed of recent published research on sales-related topics, by including abstracts of a selection of peer-reviewed academic material published in a range of journals. We have grouped them in the following broad themes: sales performance; customer management; capability development; behavioural studies; leadership; and systems and processes. In this edition, we start with two articles… 


Coaching Brain

July 6th, 2015 by

At the recent APS Annual Conference, Gill McKay of MyBrain International explored how neuroscience can help transform our coaching style. We’re probably all aware of the benefits of effective coaching: transforming salespeople into sales champions; maximising their potential and motivating people to be the best they can be; increasing engagement and talent retention; driving accountability; developing a more agile organisation;… 


Personal growth leads to business growth

July 6th, 2015 by

As part of his MSc Professional Practice in Sales Leadership, Sony Mobile’s Gustavo Mancera describes how research and reflection led to a new mind-set and approach that created differentiation in the marketplace. The problem to be addressed The rapidly changing market affected the entire team´s mind-sets including myself. We had fallen prey to negative mind-sets (Squire, 2009) while struggling to… 


The subtle approach

July 6th, 2015 by

Does coaching work best when team members are not even aware it is happening? Angie Dixey investigates. As organisations increasingly turn to coaching to help improve sales performance and develop talent, performing the role of “coach” has become a commonplace responsibility for sales managers. Yet, even as organisations continue to expect this activity from their managers, the issue of whether… 


Best practice for running an effective salesperson onboarding programme

July 6th, 2015 by

New research suggests the most successful programmes pursue a calculated blend of sales training and coaching activities. The bar has been raised. In a world where businesses are becoming increasingly proficient at managing a range of multi-channel, multi-touch and highly customer-focused interactions, how can we ensure that our newly recruited salespeople measure up to customers’ expectations? Toward this end, many… 


MCKINSEY ANALYSIS OF THE TOP 1,000 US AND EUROPEAN COMPANIES

July 1st, 2015 by

MCKINSEY ANALYSIS OF THE TOP 1,000 US… 


Performance potential in the global talent pool

April 12th, 2015 by

A sophisticated self-administered online assessment of hundreds of individuals around the world provides us with a snapshot of the global sales profession. Although salespeople tend to be lumped together in one group, sales is not a generic, one-size-fits-all activity; selling can actually be divided into various distinct roles, so it is important to hire and develop the right person for… 


Big data just got useful

April 11th, 2015 by

From online shopping outfits to industrial conglomerates, airlines to pharmaceutical companies, businesses of all shapes and sizes are tapping into the immense resource that is business intelligence. No more do companies have to rely on out-of-date information on which to base key business decisions. Casey Stengel, the 1950s American Major League Baseball outfielder, famously said: “Never make predictions, especially about… 


2015 Q2 Research Review – edited by Jeremy Noad

April 11th, 2015 by

These pages aim to keep readers informed of recent published research on sales-related topics, by including abstracts of a selection of peer-reviewed academic material published in a range of journals. We have grouped them in the following broad themes: sales performance; customer management; capability development; behavioural studies; leadership; and systems and processes. Sales Performance “Salespeople as knowledge brokers: a review… 


Re-imagining the hiring process to support growth aspirations

April 11th, 2015 by

As part of his SAP Masters programme, Paul Devlin is exploring how sales transformation can be implemented within his team and wider organisation. Here, he discusses how he has used reflection, “action research” and “appreciative inquiry” to enhance the sales recruitment process.   Current situation I lead a sales team of 18. The SAP MENA teams and my annual growth… 


From KAM to commission

April 11th, 2015 by

Beth Rogers leafs through some recent Masters dissertations to see what has been exercising the minds of sales managers. One of the joys of running a course such as a top-up Masters programme for sales managers is that their learning is applied to their company, and both tutor and student can see the potential impact. One of the downsides is… 


US companies annual spend on sales efforts

April 7th, 2015 by

US companies spend, annually, on sales efforts…