Research

The latest research from sales leaders working in global companies comes together with studies from academic institutions and top consultancies to enhance our understanding of professional sales. Here you’ll also find the Journal’s own cutting-edge research designed by leading academics to help keep you one step ahead.

The next best thing to being there

September 24th, 2018 by

New research explores how to dramatically improve your “virtual” sales calls. Editor’s Note: This is the second article in a series about improving the impact of sales calls in phone or web conference environments. This piece covers original research aimed at determining the most effective approach for engaging prospects and customers in these selling environments. In the 60s and 70s,… 


Driving positive behaviours

September 24th, 2018 by

Exploring co-creating commercial value for customers and company through values-driven leadership. Introduction As a sales manager for one of the largest business-to-business software companies, I am at the intersection of helping customers drive commercial value for their business and the constant drive of my company to sell more software, and sell it sooner. As most sales managers would concede, aligning… 


Exploring distributed leadership practice

September 24th, 2018 by

Can distributed leadership practice bring positive impact in a sales focused environment? Background The COE is a team of highly skilled and senior solution experts, each responsible for a specific solutions area, product line or area of focus. Their responsibilities include primarily sales pipeline (demand) management and revenue attainment for their responsible lines of business. Within these two main pillars,… 


To add “friction” or not to add friction – that is the question.

August 31st, 2018 by

Here we preview original research on how best to engage your audience during virtual meetings. The move at many companies is to expand inside sales teams and decrease the number of “feet on the street”. But, for all the potential cost savings and productivity gains, this transition creates some serious engagement questions and challenges resulting from the virtual barrier between… 


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… 


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…. 


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… 


Positive selling

December 13th, 2017 by

Phill McGowan talks about entrepreneurial innovation and the art of creating sales opportunities. Serial entrepreneur and business consultant Phillip McGowan is studying for a doctorate at the University of Portsmouth, researching the causes of sales failure. Until now sales and the associated techniques have all been about discovery, but in today’s increasingly disruptive environment amid ways of working more usually… 


The starting point of successful propositions

September 22nd, 2017 by

Introduction As Product Marketing Director of Sony Mobile my daily work entails the creation of propositions for consumers and business customers in Europe based on propositions that are created mainly in Tokyo headquarters. I decided to research how the propositions can be improved and my focus is on the starting point of proposition creation. The aim of this research is… 


How can intra-collaboration approaches enhance sales performance in a complex global enterprise?

September 22nd, 2017 by

Introduction Working most of my career for global companies like PWC, IBM and SAP, I have been confronted with solutions and services of rising complexity, which are sold and delivered to increasingly knowledgeable customers in a competitive and transforming global environment. The daily activities of my sales team in direct relation with its customer are central: they are understanding the… 


Decide or defer?

September 22nd, 2017 by

Here, we explore why salespeople need help creating urgency with executive decision makers. Stalled proposals and “no decisions” are arguably the biggest threat to your sales pipelines. There’s a good chance you lose more deals here than you lose to your traditional competitors. The big challenge often comes down to how you make your case to an executive buyer. It’s… 


When challenging the customer backfires

April 23rd, 2017 by

There’s a proper time to provoke the customer – it’s just not when you’re trying to keep them or get them to pay more, research shows. Provoking the customer, challenging the status quo, leading with an unexpected insight: these kinds of message are the lifeblood of the disruption-minded story you need to tell when you’re the outsider intent on convincing… 


Disrupt or defend?

January 29th, 2017 by

Delivering your most effective customer renewal message is your best opportunity to drive profitability. But what should that message be? When I last wrote for this publication, my piece addressed a messaging and skills approach for succeeding in what many B2B salespeople regard as the hardest but most rewarding type of sale: new customer acquisition. The skills approach I outlined… 


Real solutions

November 29th, 2016 by

This year’s Global Sales Transformation Event at the London Stock Exchange provided the opportunity for the first cohort of Consalia-Middlesex University Masters graduates to present their research findings. Carl Day, Channel Sales Director, Toshiba TEC UK: “Ethics – the DNA for value creation” Opening with the confession that he sells photocopiers, Day articulated his dilemma as being: how to professionalise…