In the course of my consulting work I’m frequently asked how to launch lasting change across a large sales organization. I always respond with, “Quickly deliver value to a small portion of your business through a successful pilot.”
Last month I attended the 2012 Sales Force Productivity Conference, an event of the Sales Management Association. At last year’s conference several speakers made a strong case for achieving long-term sales force effectiveness through deliberate sales coaching. This year the most important takeaway was an even bigger idea. You see, most sales forces are being rendered obsolete as a result of market evolution. Fixing this requires sales leaders to let go of the idea that they have something unique to sell.
This week I contributed to a healthy debate on the topic of “Sales Coaching—Art or Science?” as a guest of Jon Baker on Biz Rocket Radio. I was joined by three other experts in the field: Duane Gingrich, former VP Sales and Marketing, Schneider National Inc; Bob Kelly, Chairman of the Sales Management Association; and Jill Pollard, President of Head Coach Inc.
If you’re looking for a topic where Sales and Marketing disagree, lead generation is a hot one. Listen in on any conversation between the two departments and you’re likely to hear something like this:
Legendary sales leader and CEO Henry Schimberg has passed away.
“Marketing is so expensive, and it doesn’t get us new business. We’re not Coca-Cola, you know…besides, everyone in the industry knows us already. I’d rather spend the money retaining strong salespeople.”