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Author Archives: John

What Business Acumen do Sales People Need?

June 6, 2013 – 1:57 pm

When people talk about Business Acumen for sales people they tend to cover a wide range of skills, knowledge and behaviours that they would like sales people to demonstrate in front of a customer. Here are some of the areas are commonly bracketed under Business Acumen: Accounts and financial statements Calling high at the C-suite, […]



Business Acumen for Sales People

May 21, 2013 – 1:19 pm

I speak to many Heads of Sales and Sales Managers and ask the question “What is it that your sales people are missing that would make them much more effective?” It may not surprise you to find out that they never answer a CRM system! Most of them talk about knowing more about a customer’s […]



The Challenger Sale

May 10, 2013 – 6:47 pm

Those of you who follow my work will know that as well as working with my own clients I am a facilitator for CEB’s Challenger program and the various associated workshops for sales managers. Many of you will have seen lots written about The Challenger model and so I thought I would give my perspective […]



Creating competency based sales training

March 23, 2012 – 4:38 pm

I have recently been asked by a prospect if I can create sales training based on competences for specific levels of sales people.  In fact, I have done this a number of times for large global companies, but I have never documented the actual approach and methodology I followed in designing, developing and implementing this […]



Coaching – the Sales Manager’s most important tool

February 14, 2012 – 8:45 pm

“Catch a man a fish, feed him for a day.  Teach him how to fish and feed him for life”  – unknown. Of all the tools available to a sales manager to drive the performance of individuals in their team, coaching has been shown to be the most important in terms of achieving business results.  […]



Knowing your metrics – driving the pipeline

February 14, 2012 – 8:38 pm

Graphically a pipeline, often called a funnel, looks like the diagram shown here.  It should contain all of the leads and prospects that you generate through marketing and business development activities.  These will then convert into opportunities that your team are working on and track their progress through the sales stages.  The pipeline takes on […]

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Fishing where the fish are – segmentation

February 14, 2012 – 8:24 pm

The span of control for first line sales managers can now be is high as 12 or 15 sales people, so the amount of joint customer calls is greatly reduced.  So being able to control where the sales team are spending their time is key to making the team’s numbers. This is a massive topic, […]



Creating meaningful value propositions

February 14, 2012 – 8:13 pm

The first answer to the question “what can sales people do differently” is to educate their buyers, adding value by teaching them something they don’t already know.  This approach takes time, skill and resource, but ultimately is the only way to differentiate themselves from the competition.  To do this, sales people need to be able […]



The changing requirements of the buyer

February 14, 2012 – 8:00 pm

The starting point in the redefining of any customer facing activity should be the customer.  So what has happened to the patterns of buyer behaviour that means we have to review the way we sell to customers? Original sales training was focused on getting sales people to fully understand the features and benefits of their […]



Business Development Strategies

January 30, 2012 – 5:34 pm

Times are tough, customers are delaying decisions, business is very competitive, customers are more purchasing savvy than at any time and they really don’t want to be sold to by sales people.  But no-one told you that selling was easy! So what is the standard response from sales managers (VPs/Directors/managers) to this situation?  Unfortunately it […]





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