Q #131: What does strategic sales management involve?
In this series, Bob Morris poses a key question and then responds to it with material from one or more of the business books he has reviewed for Amazon and Borders.
That is the subject of one of the volumes in the HBR series, “Ideas with Impact.” Here are excerpts from three of the eight articles in the anthology.
From Ending the War Between Sales and Marketing: When sales and marketing are combined, “this means integrating such straightforward activities as planning, target setting, customer assessment, and value-proposition development. It’s tougher, though. To integrate the two groups’ processes and systems; these must be replaced with common processes, metrics, and rewards systems. Organizations need to develop shared databases, as well as mechanisms for continuous improvement. Hardest of all is changing the culture to support integration.” Philip Kotler, Neil Rackham, and Suj Krishnaswamy
From Match Your Sales Force Structure to Your Business Life Cycle: “When the sales force starts to worry about downsizing, the best sales people will be the first to leave. Even as companies prepare to let other people go, they must pay stars handsomely to keep them. In addition, strong leadership is essential during downsizing, and only timely and straightforward communication from sales leaders can maintain a reasonable level of morale and motivation.” Andris A. Zoltners, Prabhakant Sinha, and Sally E. Lorimar
From The Ultimately Accountable Job: Leading Today’s Sales Organization: “If the customer is king these days, who lives within his inner circle? Of all the functions, the sales organization comes closest, and the CSO is thus the most effective conduit for funneling customer-related insights to the rest of the senior executive team. The successful sales leader spends more time with customers today not only because they have valuable things to say but also because they demand to be heard by their suppliers’ most senior people. As other, nonsales senior executives throughout the company respond to such demands, the CSO can serve as a role model for his peers in interacting with customers.” Jerome A. Colleti and Mary S. Fiss
I also highly recommend these sources:
ProActive Sales Management: How to Lead, Motivate, and Stay Ahead of the Game
William (“Skip”) Miller
The Secrets of Great Sales Management: Advanced Strategies for Maximizing Performance
Robert A. Simpkins
The Sales Manager’s Success Manual
Wayne M. Thomas
Comments, questions, requests, or suggestions? Please share them. They will be most welcome and I thank you for them. Best regards, Bob
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