Sponsored Research

THE JOURNAL champions credible, objective research within the sales sector and, just as importantly, its application in the “real world”. Our pioneering original research programme brings together academics and sponsors to further research of practical benefit to sales leaders.

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… 

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… 

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,… 

Can one little word change marketing and sales success?

December 19th, 2018 by

A new study highlights the power of “you” versus “we” phrasing in your messaging. When sending out prospecting messages or presenting solutions to prospects and customers, most marketing and salespeople tend to “we, we, we” all over themselves. No, this article isn’t about losing control of bodily function. It’s about word choice and whether a single word or pronoun-based reference… 

Value propositions: the sales and marketing interface

December 18th, 2018 by

I reviewed two areas of literature before doing the research which covered sales-marketing interface (SMI) and value propositions. Sales-marketing interface SMI literature primarily focused on “The extent to which activities carried out by the two are supportive of each other” (Rouzies, et al. 2005). SMI research has tended to focus on sales and marketing relations as an end in itself…. 

The “Fourth Value Conversation”

December 18th, 2018 by

What is the “Fourth Value Conversation”? We asked Tim Riesterer, author of The Three Value Conversations. Q: What is the “Fourth Value Conversation” and why is there a need for it now? We’re calling it “Expand Value”. It’s that part of the customer conversation lifecycle where you’re looking to ensure more renewals, communicate price increases and generate upsells and cross-sells… 

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,… 

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… 

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… 

“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…. 

“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 –… 

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… 

Align or die?

October 31st, 2015 by

How do we re-engineer the sales and marketing interface for the benefit of our customers? Just as I sat down to write this article my email pinged. I tried to ignore it as I’d just come back from an excellent “Sales-Mind“ workshop that reminded me of the foolishness of multitasking. Then I saw the title – “Brands failing to align… 

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…