Olympics Speedskating Controversy Holds Insight for Sales Orgs: Three Key Lessons

Posted by Peter Manoogian on Mon, Feb 24, 2014

Now that the Sochi Winter Olympic games have come to an end, we know that the US team won 28 medals. However, it was the medals the US speed skating team didn't win that was the biggest story of the games.

Just two weeks ago, talk at the Olympic Village surrounded the scientifically advanced Mach 39 suits and how they would propel the team to a medal bonanza. Eight days and zero medals after the first race, the Americans dropped the Mach 39 suits, billed “the fastest in the world,” in favor of outfits worn in a prior competition.


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Until the “Sales Gene” Is Identified: Three Ways to Move Employees Into Sales Roles

Posted by Peter Manoogian on Tue, Jul 16, 2013

"You can’t send a duck to eagle school."

So says one of ZS’s co-founders when discussing potential challenges associated with changing a sales team's roles or responsibilities. Taking a "nature versus nurture" approach to sales, we typically subscribe to the idea that salesmanship cannot be taught. Organizations should hire for personality, then train for skill.

This concept arose once again during a discussion with executives of a regional insurance carrier who were thinking about converting the firm’s “renewal” reps to pure “hunters.” As we discussed their challenges and opportunities, they asked, “Should we just hire professional salespeople”?


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Market Opportunity Alone Won’t Point the Way to Sales Growth

Posted by Jason Brown on Tue, Apr 16, 2013

Asset managers are gaining unprecedented insight into the performance of their retail distribution organizations. Just five years ago, they had visibility into only their own assets under management (AUM). It was difficult to know whether to attribute an increase (or decrease) in flows to the distribution organization or to a market shift.

But recently, companies like Market Metrics and Broadridge have introduced products that illuminate the total market and a firm’s market share by fund class, ZIP code and, in some cases, financial advisor or RIA. Market information like this can substantially refine how distribution organizations operate—but only if the information is applied correctly.


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