In this Expert Insight Interview, Frank Cespedes discusses the ever-changing world of business and how salespeople and companies need to evolve to keep up. Frank Cespedes is a senior lecturer at the Harvard Business School. He has run multiple businesses and served on the boards of several startups. Frank is also a prolific author of articles in the Harvard Business Review as well as books. He has written six books so far and has a new one entitled Sales Management that Works: How to Sell in a World that Never Stops Changing.
This Expert Insight Interview discusses:
- The accelerating rate of change in the world of business
- How both salespeople and executives need to adapt
- The importance of proactively training your salesforce
Accelerated Rate of Change
The world is continually changing, but recently there has been a prevalent feeling that the rate of change is rapidly increasing. The pandemic has indeed forced a lot of change and accelerated the digital transformation of business.
There is data to support this instinct that the rate of change is accelerating, especially in sales. Nowadays, we have an omnichannel buying world, where prospects go online and offline multiple times in their buying journey, which has a massive effect on the sales process. According to Frank, buying is a process of parallel streams, not a linear funnel.
The Business of Business
Once upon a time, salespeople focused on top-line revenue and nothing else. Not only that, but companies were not good at calculating how much money and time was going into sales because people were pulling resources from other departments.
If you’re starting out as a salesperson, you will not be able to advance your career this way anymore, and you’ll have to understand the business of business if you want to be successful. On the other hand, CEOs and executives are increasingly out of touch with their customer-facing colleagues.
The amount of money a business loses by hiring the wrong person adds up significantly over time. That said, even if you manage to hire the perfect employee, you still need to invest in their training and development.
Unfortunately, it seems that there are very few companies that proactively train their salespeople. Rather than bringing in experts and training their salesforce when things are going well, they wait until there’s a crisis.
Sales Management That Works
In this practical and research-based guide for managers, salespeople, and investors. Harvard Business School professor Frank Cespedes offers essential strategies for thriving in markets that never stop changing.
“Frank Cespedes has developed an essential guide to help companies reconfigure their selling motions and create collaborative internal relationships to deal with changing buying habits. This is a must-read for sales and marketing leaders alike.”
In SALES MANAGEMENT THAT WORKS, Cespedes separates signal from noise and truth from hype. Selling and profitable growth today involve a combination of factors: a coherent strategy, relevant hiring practices, and incentives, and ongoing performance management that motivates the right behaviors in the face of many changes outside a company’s control.
John is the Amazon bestselling author of Winning the Battle for Sales: Lessons on Closing Every Deal from the World’s Greatest Military Victories and Social Upheaval: How to Win at Social Selling. A globally acknowledged Sales & Marketing thought leader, speaker, and strategist. He is CSMO at Pipeliner CRM. In his spare time, John is an avid Martial Artist.