Want Growth? Invest in sales.

By: Gary Tubridy Chief Sales Executive Events, Sales Strategy

Keynote Speaker Paul Mountford from Cisco shared his strategy for targeting emerging markets.

Highlights from the 2011 Chief Sales Executive Forum

 

Over 100 Sales Leaders met last week to discuss the types of investments they are making in their sales organizations to drive revenue growth.

Michael Orrick, SVP at Thompson Reuters summed up the situation in our wrap up session – “We were so naïve back in 2007 and 2008. We were saying that the revenue was going to come back after the recession. I now see people are talking a lot more about selective opportunities. After that it’s really down to your investment and what you can expect in return.”

Even in these hard times, sales leaders are making big bets in their people, from more rigorous approaches to on-boarding, to creating roles to actively mentor and coach out in the field, to “taking the training wheels off” by pushing reps not to rely too heavily on specialist resources.

Sales leaders are also putting their ear to the ground to develop formalized programs to collaborate with their customers and push them to think outside the box. Kevin Warren, President of US Customer Operations at Xerox, shared their “Dreaming with the Customer” program, to get engineers and Xerox customers in the room to brainstorm ideas and solutions. As he put it, “Your competition is out there talking to customer too. They are offering the same solutions and then you are just competing on price.”

Customer expectations have increased. They won’t tolerate the “what keeps you up at night” approach to selling anymore. They want reps to act as experts and to be prepared to tell them what other people are doing to solve similar problems. For sales leaders, this translates into a need to develop strategic thinkers who are still able to execute and close deals.

By increasing the intellectual capital of the front line sales organization, Sales takes on more ownership of the customer relationship. Getting that intelligence back to the product development and marketing teams is seen as a key success factor and a critical competitive advantage.

Strategic thinking, more internal and external collaboration, increased use of social networking tools. The sales rep customers are looking for has to be prepared to act faster, do more with less, and be seen as the solution expert. Does your sales organization have what it takes to make the leap?

Learn more about Alexander Group Chief Sales Executive events.

Published by Mary Catherine Plunkett

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Gary Tubridy

Gary Tubridy is a senior vice president of the Alexander Group and the general manager in charge of the firm’s management consulting business. Gary’s consulting work is focused on increasing marketing and sales effectiveness with particular emphasis in technology and medical products industries. Gary has deep expertise in diagnosing sales management issues and helping clients execute action plans to improve results. His research is focused on best practices of leading sales organizations in North America with particular emphasis on sales force transformation and the role of sales leadership. He leads the Alexander Group executive events series and hosts the Operations and Executive Forums. He is one of three founding stockholders of the Alexander Group.


Gary has been with the Alexander Group for over 35 years. Prior to that, Gary was in sales with the IBM Corporation. Gary holds a B.A. from Brown University and an MBA from the Graduate School of Business at Columbia University.


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