This book is a collection of 27 lessons learned from a half-century in business ownership, executive management, sales management, and enterprise (B2B) sales. Over this period, almost everything has dramatically changed: the technology that is being sold; the technology used to facilitate and manage B2B sales; the technology used to communicate with customers, partners, and co-workers; the technology and tools used in targeting, analyzing, and marketing; the culture, the language and the (younger) age of executives and sales professionals emerging from the start-up world. But one thing did not change and is central to sales and management effectiveness: human nature. The methods, strategies and practices are integral to what, in essence, is a people business. As such, they remain timeless.
Business owners, founders and executives, sales managers and sales professionals may all find something here that may contribute to their success in sales, management, and leadership however they define success to be.
It offers practical, proven and readily deployable solutions, methodologies and tools focused on growing the top line of small, medium, and even start-up companies.
It offers business executives insights and self-reflection on their and their peers leadership styles to facilitate communications and collaborations between contrasting leadership personas.
It shares classic situations in scaling up and turning around ailing businesses through real-world case studies.
It offers business leaders shared experiences in creating and nurturing a healthy corporate culture and the effective planning and management of the strategic intent of the enterprise's mission.
In small and medium enterprises, and certainly in early and growing stages of start-ups, it empowers business leaders or owners to effectively manage their sales function, whether, or not, they themselves have had professional sales experience. It allows them to create and deploy a sales process, direct, manage and support sales professionals and create a culture of transparency and accountability in the sales organization and increase sales and revenue forecasting accuracy that is so crucial to the health of the business.
But most importantly it offers both experienced and new B2B sales professionals creative, innovative, and strategic practices to advance and win successful sales campaigns — or, as we refer to it, "winning the big deal." It equips them with the tools to plan and execute sales campaigns, measure progress, sequence sales activities and draw on the knowledge and resources of the entire sales (account) team. It equips them with tools for communicating and reporting to management on the need for resources, representations, and engagement by company executives at critical junctures during sales campaigns.
If efficiency means doing things right, our focus is effectiveness, which means doing the right things at the right time. We invite you to pick and choose the parts that are most relevant to you, the business leaders, and sales professionals, that will accelerate your success in selling and the growth of your enterprise and the prosperity of your stakeholders.
This book is a companion reference to a series of on-site and online workshops: Leadership in Disruptive Times, for business owners, founders, or C-level executives; Sales Effectiveness in Competitive Times, for sales managers; and Winning the Big Deal, for B2B sales professionals. Each is a half-day workshop that includes tutorial, discussion, and real-world case studies.