Monthly Sales Insights: August 2019

August 28, 2019

We’re back with another installment of Monthly Sales Insights, where we list some of the most interesting thought pieces and scholarship we’ve found recently.

The Science of Creating a Dream TeamBBC

This article discusses the research of Anita Williams Woolley into what makes teams function effectively and produce excellent results. Surprisingly, it’s not the collective brainpower or accomplishments of the group – it’s how they’re able to interact and connect with each other. This has striking implications for sales, where team-based selling is becoming more common, and suggests that it’s more important to work on the group dynamics and awareness than it is to put your star sales reps together in a single unit.

Essays on Sales CoachingUniversity of South Florida Scholar Commons

A dissertation on sales coaching by California State University-Los Angeles professor Carlin Nguyen, this series of essays provides interesting research on successful sales coaching practices and proposes a sales coaching effectiveness scale (SCES) as a way of quantifying the success level of an organization or manager’s sales coaching.

Are Sales Incentives Becoming Obsolete?Harvard Business Review

A fascinating discussion, this article in the Harvard Business Review suggests that traditional, short-term, results-based sales incentives are ineffective in today’s omnichannel marketplace. In place, it proposes long-term, annual incentives, a greater shift towards base salary in the compensation mix, and coming up with incentives tied to leading KPIs, rather than relying solely on lagging KPI measurements.

The article also stresses a more active, hands-on approach to management, involving instituting a sales coaching, training, and data culture and factoring technological acumen and comfort into the hiring process, among other suggestions.

While not all of these propositions for change will work for all sales organizations and industries, it’s compelling material to consider when thinking of how to maximize sales rep productivity and foster a collaborative, customer-centric culture.

How to Make Your Value Proposition StrongerJill Konrath

This illuminating blog post by Jill Konrath highlights that in many cases, your value proposition can be made much stronger by canvassing recent clients (within the past 6-12 months) to get a sense of what and how your offering is helping them. There’s also a list of baseline interview questions to consider when interviewing your recent buyers to help elicit the information you need.