SalesLabs executive featured in The European Financial Review
A sharp decline in global sales effectiveness could portend the start of another downward economic cycle, reports SalesLabs leader.
The view from the sales manager’s desk is deeply troubling. Over the past eight years, performance metrics in the average sales organization worldwide have plummeted. This doesn’t just affect the end of quarter or fiscal year-end numbers; this collapse is endemic at all stages of the sales process. Is this new? No, we’ve seen this before—in the years immediately preceding the 2008 global financial crisis. And it appears to be happening again. Armed with insights in this article, executives can know which levers to pull, in which direction, and which activities to discard altogether.
The million-minute sales truth
Evidence from a million minutes of coaching contradicts some common beliefs about sales performance, says SalesLabs.
Damaging myths about sales coaching have become received wisdom. When researchers set about finding out the truth, they exploded six fictions widely held to be facts. In a significant international study, regular coaching sessions with salespeople and their managers were run over a two-year period. The goal was to focus on a specific skill, coach the seller to master it, then track its impact. After a million minutes of coaching and analysis in multiple countries and cultures, researchers uncovered 18 skills that make the biggest sales impact in the fastest time. Most interestingly, 84% of sellers could learn them, achieving CAGR of 29% per annum.
The salesperson's secret code
A new sales book edited by SalesLabs chairman Nicholas Read reveals the unique belief systems of the world's most iconic salespeople.
In November 2016 The Sales Club (a division of the Association of Professional Sales), hosted a gala event in London, England to unveil preliminary findings from the study. Record-breaking salespeople and managers from GlaxoSmithKline, J.P. Morgan, Cisco Systems and Steinway shared personal insights on what drives them to peak performance, and the extent to which the 'secret code' can be institutionalised.
"The Salesperson's Secret Code" will be published by LID Publishing.
KAM: mission impossible to mission accomplished
The secret to success in key account management is knowing where the profession is going wrong, SalesLabs reports.
In the wake of the 2008 global financial crisis, companies slashed costs to gain profits. After trimming the bottom line to the bone, attention shifted to the top line. Selling became mission-critical, especially in the area of key account management (KAM) where the largest or most strategic customers are handled. Yet the sales function is often viewed as a dark art by executives. Seeking to demystify its best practices, researchers conducted face-to-face interviews and surveys with 1,100 key account managers (KAMs) in the UK’s information communications technology (ICT) industry.
Thriving in Turbulent Times
At the 2016 BRITISH ACADEMY OF MANAGEMENT Conference held at Newcastle University, SalesLabs presented peer-reviewed research on how to re-engineer the key account management function using current best practices from the UK IT industry.
Although key account management is not a new sales function, the design of its processes, staffing requirements, training, reporting and governance is often a mash-up of ideas borrowed from past companies, books and Internet searches. This isn't the best way to build an integrated business system. Using lessons from KAM functions that are purpose-built vs. organically evolved, this presentation captivated audiences attending the conference from around the world. Certain insights were later published in Dialogue Review magazine (see above).
ROCKET Wins Top Award
SalesLabs is awarded Bronze in the 13th Annual International Business Awards ("THE STEVIES"), in the category Best New Product of the Year, Software, Workforce Development.
The award is received for the innovative ROCKET Sales Coaching Platform, developed by SalesLabs during the analysis and coaching of one million minutes of live sales calls with face-to-face and call centre salespeople. Judges who completed the two-month process of evaluation remarked: “ROCKET is a superior way to scale sales training. This is a creative and easy-to-navigate product, using an approach that has never before been perfected.”
How to Speak C-Suite
In this B2B Market Research Podcast, CASCADE INSIGHTS boss Sean Campbell interviews SalesLabs chairman, Nicholas Read.
This popular discussion explores the following topics:
SalesLabs accredited by Chartered Management Institute
CMI has accredited the SalesLabs workshop "Selling to the C-Suite" against the UK's national standard for workplace learning.
"Selling to the C-Suite" is the official masterclass of our bestselling McGraw-Hill book of the same name. Based on our 10-year global research project that studied why, how and when b2b executives get involved in the procurement process, and what salespeople need to do to stand out as trusted advisors,the two-day workshop is now available for sales teams to learn the theory and apply it on an actual executive customer they want to win business with. After a rigorous inspection of the workshop's research, design, pedagogy and results, the UK's Chartered Management Institute has accredited "Selling to the C-Suite" as a top-tier sales training workshop for companies of all sizes.
SELLINGPOWER magazine interviews SalesLabs author on how to sell to executives.
Respected U.S. journalist Henry Canady writes that in certain sales situations, a rep can only close a sale by meeting with the top decision maker. There are two absolute rules for selling to C-level customers: Do your homework, and have something important to say. But there are also lots of details to get right. This thought-provoking article draws on findings from SalesLabs and other practitioners on the new rules for selling high.
Television: BDTV South Africa
THE BIG SMALL BUSINESS SHOW caught up with SalesLabs founder during a recent business trip to Johannesburg.
Allon Raiz is regarded globally as a pioneer and maverick in the business incubation industry, currently supporting in excess of 500 businesses in South Africa, speaking on entrepreneurism at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, and lecturing as the Saïd Business School’s Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Oxford University. He is the host of his fourth season of the popular "Big Small Business Show" on BusinessDay TV.
Raiz interviewed SalesLabs founder Nicholas Read during his 2012 and 2013 speaking tours of South Africa, to discuss modern sales techniques and the challenges that can occur when a business attempts to scale beyond its founder.
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Television: ABC USA
WASHINGTON BUSINESS TONIGHT news anchor asks SalesLabs about the economic gains of selling higher in the food chain.
The business book "Selling to the C-Suite", co-written by SalesLabs founder Nicholas Read and Dr. Stephen Bistritz, topped the Amazon charts for more than two years, being released as America reeled from the aftermath of the 2008 Wall Street crash.
In this primetime interview on ABC News Channel 8 which was broadcast live across Washington DC, Read explains that as the economy goes down, the buying decisions go up: and so must salespeople. He outlines some of the key findings from the research behind his chart-topping book, and offers practical advice for anyone who needs to differentiate in a market of lookalike competitors.
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Television: FOX USA
SalesLabs author appears on Denver's breakfast news to share how ideas in his latest book are being used for job hunting.
With most readers of "Selling to the C-Suite" using its lessons for high-stakes enterprise sales, GOOD DAY COLORADO on the FOX Network saw an opportunity to help people in the community who had lost their jobs in America's financial meltdown. Author Nicholas Read presented an adaptation of the book's key messages, offering advice like "show you've done your homework", "interview the interviewer" and "plan answers to the most likely questions" as ways of turning an interview into a two-way, enriching dialogue more likely to score points with employers.
The BusinessCast radio podcast is produced by Robert Gold the Managing Partner of Bennett Gold LLP Chartered Accountants, and Andrew Brown, President of the business communications consulting firm Write On The Money. The hosts are authors of over 100 articles tackling entrepreneur challenges, appearing in online/offline publications such RoyalBank.ca, Marketing Magazine, DotCommerce and HR Reporter.
Brian Tilton hosts Bulldog Live! on 107.7 WTPL FM. Brian is a passionate conservative radio talk show host with 20 years of broadcast experience that includes production, news reporting, hosting and social media. He earned the "Bulldog" nickname for his tough questioning that made his show the #1 rated program in Maryland. He has been awarded the National Headliner Award for Investigative Reporting, Chesapeake Associated Press Outstanding Enterprise Reporting Award and the Society of Professional Journalists Excellence in Journalism Award for Public Service.
Jim Blasingame is an American small business expert, radio talk show host, author, syndicated columnist, keynote speaker, and president of Small Business Network, Inc., a media company dedicated to serving small business. He has received awards from the U.S. Small Business Administration, Association of Small Business Development Centers, Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives, New York Enterprise Report, FORTUNE Small Business, SBE Council, and TALKERS magazine.