Measures and General Management

Selling is not about relationships

This is the title of a Harvard Business Review article that has caused a bit of a stir in sales circles. The authors divide (B2B) salespeople into five groups and argue that, of the five profiles, one significantly out-performs the others – and that one under-performs, to a similar degree. Here are the five profiles […]

Measures and General Management

Performance pay: the case against

Few suggestions inflame passions faster than the suggestion that performance pay be abolished. It’s our contention, nonetheless, that, in an ideal environment, commissions and bonuses are likely to be in conflict with the goal of the organisation. Of course, traditional sales processes are not ’ideal environments’ and, as such, the traditional sales process serves as […]

Measures and General Management

Is your salesperson really selling?

If you have a salesperson, I challenge you to try this simple ‘time and motion’ study. Follow her around for a week and take note of the different activities in which she engages – and the percentage of her working hours that are devoted to each. My guess is that you’ll discover something like the […]

Measures and General Management

Salespeople must sell!

In a process built along the lines we advocate it is critical that salespeople pursue a ‘sale’ at each business-development appointment. Now this sale may not be the achievement of the ultimate objective.  In many cases it’s just permission to move to the next step in the (standardised) opportunity-management process. It may be that salespeople […]

Measures and General Management

Client retention: whose responsibility?

Whose responsibility, I wonder, is client retention? Most organisations believe it’s the salesperson’s. Consequently, many salespeople spend a disproportionate amount of their time on account management. ‘Account management’ is a polite way of referring to a process that involves driving from client to client, drinking coffee and talking about the football. In the US, they […]

Slaying Sacred Cows

Why sales training can decrease conversion rates!

Question: What’s the primary driver of conversion rate? Answer: In most cases, it’s not sales skill! The primary driver is most often what we call Opportunity Cycle Time: the time it takes to close an opportunity. What that means is that, if you want to improve conversion rates, you should look for a way to […]

Applying Sales Process Engineering

Why salespeople should NEVER perform telephone follow-up

When I insist that Sales Coordinators — and never Salespeople — should make follow-up calls, there’s always a howl of protest from Salespeople. “What about the relationship?” is the instinctive response, followed by, “but Sales Coordinators don’t have technical skills — or sales skills”. Of course we can immediately discount the instinctive response (Executives have PA’s […]