September 4th, 2012
Five Proven Strategies from the Worlds Sales Leaders
Over the Labor Day weekend I picked up a book with the above title, written by Thomas Baumgartner, published by John Wiley & Sons. The forward was written by Marc Benioff, CEO of SalesForce.com. What makes this a great read for sales leaders at ANY size organization are the real case study examples that the authors used to prove their strategies. Within each defined strategy they broke out the specific execution steps required to achieve the specific strategy, this provided a detailed description how specific sales leaders approached a problem. The authors, all McKinsey and Company consultants took data elements and individual interviews to produce almost a handbook style guide that should be on every sales leader’s shelf.
Five Strategies for Sales Growth
- Find Growth Before Your Competitors Do
- Sell the Way Your Customers Want
- Soup Up Your Sales Engine
- Focus on Your People
- Lead Sales Growth
When I read these kinds of books, I tend to have a pen in my hand and I fold over the page corners where I find the key important points… In 225 pages I counted 19 pages folded!
While many of the examples are from enterprise and global organizations the concepts and lessons learned are appropriate for any sales organization. The first key point that I came away is found on page 53, “Sales Experience Matters”, what the authors drove home was the customer’s sales experience. They challenged sales leaders to ask this question: “What do my customers want from the sales experience?” I know that when we craft sales process maps for our clients, this concept is always considered and we always focus on creating some sales action or tool that is unique and that perhaps our competition is not doing.
The second point I picked up that the authors made was the need to focus on improving sales operations. Optimizing sales operations can improve revenues by 10-25% and reduce back-office costs by 20%-30%. They define this as all operations that includes all non-quota carrying activities that support quota-carrying activities. What are you doing is this area?
Lastly, they focus on changing the culture within the organization. They highlight several great examples of sales leaders building new momentum and change during new program initiatives. These included 1) increasing the tempo within the sales team, 2) increasing the coaching and sales management interaction and 3) demanding results, results, results!
The last chapter includes a great “table” that includes 12 questions that can be used to assess your sales organization and within each question defined “Good” and “Great” best practices are described.
Overall, a good read with many good ideas for any airplane ride or a day on the dock! What good business oriented book have you read recently?
Ken Thoreson “operationalizes” sales management systems and processes that pull revenue out of the doldrums into the fresh zone. During the past 13 years, our consulting, advisory, and platform services have illuminated, motivated, and rejuvenated the sales efforts for partners throughout North America. Ken’s latest book is: “Leading High Performance Sales Teams”. His latest book is: Leading High Performance Sales Teams’.