The new sales professional has a new focus: demand creation, philosophical alignment, in-depth understanding of the customer's business, positioning, executive credibility and the ability to create business solutions that deliver demonstrable financial value to a customer's business.
The required skills are shifting from product-selling skills to encompass deeper customer knowledge and sophisticated sales and service skills.
Consequently there will be fewer, more highly paid, financially literate salespeople supported by dedicated internal cross-functional teams.
Minor changes and traditional sales training are guaranteed to fail. Strategic change, instead, will be required.
The shaping of the sales function has become a strategic business issue. For a function largely responsible for company's top line and its margins, the sales force has received remarkably little executive attention or investment. Winning and keeping profitable customers is mission-critical.
But many sales forces have changed little in decades.
Good enough is no longer good enough. Professionalising the sales function and identifying and hiring top sales talent will be required to drive shareholder value.
A sales veteran with over 30 years of experience, Peter Gilbert is MD of HR Chally SA (www.challysa.co.za), an international sales consulting company specialising in talent management and recruitment. He is passionate about sales as a profession and the identification of real sales talent who can really sell! Email him at
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which entails that sales people should cushion themselves against such industrial changes.Now we are talking about breakthrough thinking from salespeople. Being able to think strategically not just traditional sales....