In Sales Management, the Waning Power of "Push" and "Pull"

Posted by Andy Zoltners, Prabha Sinha and Sally Lorimer on Wed, Dec 19, 2012

Salespeople generally have a great deal of autonomy in deciding which customers and products to focus on, how hard to work, and who to collaborate with. At the same time, sales leaders and managers try to affect the choices salespeople make using two predominant forms of influence—"push" and "pull".


>
Read More

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.


>
Read More

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.


>
Read More

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. 


>
Read More

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.


>
Read More