Improving Your Sales Force: Fine-tune or Transform?

Posted by Andy Zoltners, Prabha Sinha and Sally Lorimer on Tue, Nov 13, 2012

In the continuous hunt for profitable growth, silver bullets won't fix your sales force. The solutions to most sales force challenges are multi-dimensional. Especially when things are not going well (and sometimes even when they are), sales leaders need to know when evolutionary sales force improvements are enough to drive profitable growth, and when it's necessary to implement a wholesale sales force transformation.


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Silver Bullets Won't Fix Your Sales Force

Posted by Andy Zoltners, Prabha Sinha and Sally Lorimer on Tue, Oct 09, 2012

When it comes to enhancing sales force productivity and performance, it's tempting to look for silver bullets. Is customer retention declining? Okay, let's roll out a new sales training program that teaches salespeople how to be more customer-focused. Is sales growth lagging? Let's implement a more aggressive incentive plan to motivate the sales force. Is sales productivity decreasing? Let's build a Big Data solution that enables salespeople to glean insights so they can sell smarter.


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What Your Best Salespeople Can Teach You

Posted by Andy Zoltners, Prabha Sinha and Sally Lorimer on Tue, Sep 18, 2012

We recently blogged about the importance of knowing what characteristics (innate traits and abilities) and competencies (learned skills and knowledge) salespeople need to be successful. But how do you identify which attributes (characteristics and competencies) belong in your sales success profile?

Perhaps the best source, and one that is too frequently overlooked, comes from within your own sales force — your best salespeople. 


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In Sales, Hire for Personality, then Train for Skill

Posted by Andy Zoltners, Prabha Sinha and Sally Lorimer on Wed, Aug 29, 2012

When it comes to hiring sales talent, many companies prefer to "buy" instead of "build." A sales leader at a technology company recently told us: "We only hire experienced salespeople who can hit the ground running." Leaders of these companies argue that hiring experience reduces training costs while allowing the company to gain outside perspective. In addition, salespeople with experience in the same industry bring customers and get quick sales.

But experience alone is not a sufficient predictor of who will be successful in a sales role.


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For Sales Forces, Big Data May Be Overhyped

Posted by Andy Zoltners, Prabha Sinha and Sally Lorimer on Tue, Aug 14, 2012

You've heard the pitch: "You now have a huge volume, variety, and velocity of customer data, sales transaction data, competitive data, and sales activity data. With the combination of cloud storage and computing, mobile technologies, and powerful analytical and predictive tools, we can start mining 'big data' and reaping huge rewards."

It's not that simple, especially for sales forces.


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