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Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Customer: Post #5

Developing Sales Leadership: Value creation necessitates a new kind of sales force and what I call sales leadership. Less of a solo practitioner concerned with individual results and bonus, the sales leader listens well, hears the customer’s needs, builds relationships, and knows how to integrate in his/her company and the customers. VCS requires sales leaders to understand financials, data, even analytics—not to mention a strong grounding in the customer’s industry segment. So, training, selection, and even divesting certain people may become necessary. In particular, the authors spend a lot of time on the need for training sales leaders to have deep “business” discussions with their executives prior to approaching key clients. Using a kind of corporate university approach, Charan suggests teaching the following: How to prepare the VAP; collaboration skills; business principles and language; fostering trust in the company and with the customer; and understanding the TVO. Further, measuring results will focus the sales team on the collaborative effect (not solo salesperson). Charan recommends measuring such elements such as market share of the customer’s wallet, customer benefits, customer perception, etc. Many such factors get measured using a simple survey.

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