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HBR's 10 Must Reads on Sales (with bonus interview of Andris Zoltners) (HBR's 10 Must Reads)

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Sales isn’t about pushing products or being efficient; it’s about building the right systems to manage and empower your salespeople.If you read nothing else on sales, read these 10 articles. We’ve combed through hundreds of Harvard Business Review articles and selected the most important ones to help you understand how to create the conditions for sales success.This book w Sales isn’t about pushing products or being efficient; it’s about building the right systems to manage and empower your salespeople.If you read nothing else on sales, read these 10 articles. We’ve combed through hundreds of Harvard Business Review articles and selected the most important ones to help you understand how to create the conditions for sales success.This book will inspire you to: Understand your customer’s buying center Integrate your sales and marketing operations Assess your business cycle and its impact on your sales force Transition away from solution sales Leverage the power of micromarkets Introduce tiebreaker selling and consensus selling Motivate your sales force properly This collection of articles includes “Major Sales: Who Really Does the Buying,” by Thomas V. Bonoma; “Ending the War Between Sales and Marketing,” by Philip Kotler, Neil Rackham, and Suj Krishnaswamy; “Match Your Sales Force Structure to Your Business Life Cycle,” by Andris A. Zoltners, Prabhakant Sinha, and Sally E. Lorimer; “The End of Solution Sales,” by Brent Adamson, Matthew Dixon, and Nicholas Toman; “Selling into Micromarkets,” by Manish Goyal, Maryanne Q. Hancock, and Homayoun Hatami; “Dismantling the Sales Machine,” by Brent Adamson, Matthew Dixon, and Nicholas Toman; “Tiebreaker Selling,” by James C. Anderson, James A. Narus, and Marc Wouters; “Making the Consensus Sale,” by Karl Schmidt, Brent Adamson, and Anna Bird; “The Right Way to Use Compensation,” by Mark Roberge; “How to Really Motivate Salespeople,” by Doug J. Chung; and “Getting Beyond ‘Show Me the Money,’” an interview with Andris Zoltners by Daniel McGinn.


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Sales isn’t about pushing products or being efficient; it’s about building the right systems to manage and empower your salespeople.If you read nothing else on sales, read these 10 articles. We’ve combed through hundreds of Harvard Business Review articles and selected the most important ones to help you understand how to create the conditions for sales success.This book w Sales isn’t about pushing products or being efficient; it’s about building the right systems to manage and empower your salespeople.If you read nothing else on sales, read these 10 articles. We’ve combed through hundreds of Harvard Business Review articles and selected the most important ones to help you understand how to create the conditions for sales success.This book will inspire you to: Understand your customer’s buying center Integrate your sales and marketing operations Assess your business cycle and its impact on your sales force Transition away from solution sales Leverage the power of micromarkets Introduce tiebreaker selling and consensus selling Motivate your sales force properly This collection of articles includes “Major Sales: Who Really Does the Buying,” by Thomas V. Bonoma; “Ending the War Between Sales and Marketing,” by Philip Kotler, Neil Rackham, and Suj Krishnaswamy; “Match Your Sales Force Structure to Your Business Life Cycle,” by Andris A. Zoltners, Prabhakant Sinha, and Sally E. Lorimer; “The End of Solution Sales,” by Brent Adamson, Matthew Dixon, and Nicholas Toman; “Selling into Micromarkets,” by Manish Goyal, Maryanne Q. Hancock, and Homayoun Hatami; “Dismantling the Sales Machine,” by Brent Adamson, Matthew Dixon, and Nicholas Toman; “Tiebreaker Selling,” by James C. Anderson, James A. Narus, and Marc Wouters; “Making the Consensus Sale,” by Karl Schmidt, Brent Adamson, and Anna Bird; “The Right Way to Use Compensation,” by Mark Roberge; “How to Really Motivate Salespeople,” by Doug J. Chung; and “Getting Beyond ‘Show Me the Money,’” an interview with Andris Zoltners by Daniel McGinn.

30 review for HBR's 10 Must Reads on Sales (with bonus interview of Andris Zoltners) (HBR's 10 Must Reads)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Anežka Svobodová

    Very useful if you want to get thinking about sales management and about setting the compensation systems right. Looking forward to read the other HBR's 10 must reads. The core ideas of the individual articles were: 1) There is the need to identify the buying centres (initiators, deciders, gatekeepers, influencers, purchasers, users) and actual decision makers. They act selfishly: one needs to offer them the right incentives and rewards (social, monetary, political, coercion, attraction, technical Very useful if you want to get thinking about sales management and about setting the compensation systems right. Looking forward to read the other HBR's 10 must reads. The core ideas of the individual articles were: 1) There is the need to identify the buying centres (initiators, deciders, gatekeepers, influencers, purchasers, users) and actual decision makers. They act selfishly: one needs to offer them the right incentives and rewards (social, monetary, political, coercion, attraction, technical expertise, status). It is necessary to identify who has which role in the organisation. 2) Sales and Marketing do not like each other and their fights are mirrored negatively in the company revenues. There are two reasons for this: marketing has long-term objectives, while sales has immediate goals, the cultures are different, they are fighting for money from the same budget pot. Integrating the two departments helps: marketing should be getting data from sales reps directly from customers and they should share responsibility for the revenues. 3) Sales force numbers and strategies should correspond to the business stage of the company: fast growth at the beginning, specialisation during the growth phase, maturity: expertise and training. 4) Rather than offering a product to those who are willing to accept it, it pays of to seek the sceptical ones and to explain to them the need of the proposed solution and teach them how to buy rather than asking them about their needs. They key is to target mobilisers, not advocates in the organisations. There are different types of people in organisations: go-getters (motivated by actions benefiting the company), teachers (offering advice), sceptics (question stuff), guides (sharing tips and gossip), friends (helping sales reps), climbers (interested in own career progress), blockers (block everything). Average reps connect with guides, friends and climbers /all talkers. These people are sociable, but they usually do not have leverage. Star reps talk to go-getters, teacher and sceptics /all mobilisers. 5) Organisations need to divide their territories into micro markets on the basis of various indicators (micro market size, growth potential, market share in it, causes of differences in market share among the micro markets). It is essential to collect statistical data on the micro markets and invest effort (and sales rep rewards) on the basis of the potential the micro market has. Prioritising growth pockets can save resources. 6) Today's customers have good knowledge of what they want. Sales reps should guide them, not force. In order to do so, they should have personal responsibility to be useful and to provide insights to customers - this needs to be promoted by sales management. Sales force should not be only monitored on activity, but trained to be responsible and resourceful. Essential to find customers who are at stage of uncertainty and to disrupt their thinking and current assumptions. Organisational climate should promote personal judgement. 7) B2B sales should be done with justifiers: small extra-services or details that justify the choice of the particular supplier among others. The logic is that most companies filter by price, which needs to pass the first test. Then among reasonably priced-alternatives they pick the ones who provide the little extra that makes their lives easier and that justifies the decision for the management. So rather than going down on the price when in the final round of selection, provide a justifier. To come up with good justifiers, one needs to know how the customer uses the products well. 8) There are increasingly more and more people involved in making purchasing decisions (5.4 on average). So rather than giving each one actors a specific motivation and argumentation, it is essential to build consensus among the different actors. It is also vital to equip advocates who will naturally promote the solution with materials they can use to persuade others. Common language and topics should be used and developed between the members of the consensus group to build their tendencies to adopt the offered solution. 9) Compensation of salesforce should be set so that it motivates them to behave in certain ways. It should reward behaviours that are good at the stage of the company. Each stage has different motivators. There should be motivational bonuses: but not too many, if the structure becomes too complex, it looses appeal. There should be no upper-cup, that decreases revenue. Team-competitions are good: they increase sales. Individualistic competitions lead to undesired rivalry. Top performers react more to long-term bonuses, while lower-performers prefer short-term rewards. Rewards should be immediate, otherwise people are not motivated by them. The strategy of compensation should be aligned with the current strategical goals (improving retention, or acquiring new leads...). Some sales people react more to non-monetary compensation (vacation etc). 10) Ratcheting sales rep's quotas after a good year decreases their effectivity. Also, in each country, the reward system should be different, to reflect the risk-aversion and the tax system (how much it takes from fixed salary vs. bonuses). Reward systems should not be too complex. Companies should experiment with various systems and update them regularly.

  2. 4 out of 5

    James

    Great book! Highly recommend for anyone in sales, marketing, or management positions. Informative, easy to read, quick chapters. A lot of insight without too much jargon.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Radek Husek

    My first HBR's "book" and totally way to learn business management. So many insights. My first HBR's "book" and totally way to learn business management. So many insights.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Diego Cerezo

    Book in a sentence: 10-article book on how to build sales systems to manage salespeople, from a corporate standpoint. Key Lesson learned: Salespeople compensation should evolve with the company's stage and needs. Book in a sentence: 10-article book on how to build sales systems to manage salespeople, from a corporate standpoint. Key Lesson learned: Salespeople compensation should evolve with the company's stage and needs.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Richard Zaslavsky

    I really loved that the articles in this book actually give you practical usage. It's a great book for sales professionals and anyone interested in the subject from the process setting standpoint. I really loved that the articles in this book actually give you practical usage. It's a great book for sales professionals and anyone interested in the subject from the process setting standpoint.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Muhammad Hakim Asy'ari

    As an engineer, reading this book is challenging and enlightening

  7. 4 out of 5

    Camilo Angel

    Great insight but some articles dos not causo much of an impact.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Himanshu Pandey

    Good collection of articles , some more articles from B2C world would have made it more balanced.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Ken

    Overall, the book was average at best, with lots of advice and very little empirical evidence to support it. Most advice were assumptions by the authors. Seasoned sales leaders with some form of common sense would have been able to come up with the same advice in these articles before reading them. The articles were also sometimes contradictory with an article giving a specific advice and a different article refuting that same advice. On the bright side, the book did introduce some new ideas to sa Overall, the book was average at best, with lots of advice and very little empirical evidence to support it. Most advice were assumptions by the authors. Seasoned sales leaders with some form of common sense would have been able to come up with the same advice in these articles before reading them. The articles were also sometimes contradictory with an article giving a specific advice and a different article refuting that same advice. On the bright side, the book did introduce some new ideas to sales management. Would I recommend it? No, to seasoned sales professionals. Yes, to rookies.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Richard

  11. 4 out of 5

    Olga Ivina

  12. 5 out of 5

    Harald Johansson

  13. 5 out of 5

    Prathik Lenin

  14. 5 out of 5

    Haur Bin Chua

  15. 4 out of 5

    Mr W P Irvine

  16. 5 out of 5

    Cristina Mystkowski

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jonah Hetherington

  18. 4 out of 5

    Yogin Patel

  19. 4 out of 5

    Pablo Errejon

  20. 4 out of 5

    Tom

  21. 5 out of 5

    Cayman Carter

  22. 4 out of 5

    Gaurav Singh

  23. 4 out of 5

    Edgar

  24. 4 out of 5

    Marc Lehmann

  25. 5 out of 5

    Kevin Liminsang

  26. 5 out of 5

    Martin

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kim

  28. 4 out of 5

    Guillermo Cortés

  29. 4 out of 5

    Panagiotis Mavraganis

  30. 5 out of 5

    Alberto Venditti

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