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Business & Finance

ThinkSales Issue 33

ThinkSales magazine caters exclusively to the needs of sales management leaders. The editorial objective of ThinkSales magazine is to empower, motivate and inspire sales leaders with strategic knowledge, tactical skills, management insights and exposure to international sales and management thought-leadership and best practice necessary to lead sales organisations to achieve higher and sustainable sales results.

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South Africa
Thinksales Corporation Ltd
1 Issues

in this issue

2 min.
expert contributors

ANDRIS ZOLTNERS is a professor emeritus at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. He is also a co-founder of ZS Associates, a global business consulting firm headquartered in Evanston, and a co-author of The Power of Sales Analytics. Learn more about Andris at www.zs.com BOB HERBOLD is the former Chief Operating Officer of Microsoft Corporation and the author of three books on leadership. His latest, What’s Holding You Back: 10 Bold Steps that Define Gutsy Leaders was released in 2011 by Wiley/Jossey-Bass. More on the book and Bob’s blog on leadership can be found at www.bobherbold.com BOB MCKENZIE is a consultant at SBI. Prior to joining SBI, he spent five years as a strategy consultant, helping clients address their most challenging issues. Most recently, he was the Director of Sales Operations at…

4 min.
pathway to profitability

BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT CHALLENGES There is no doubt the business environment is changing rapidly. Executives face time pressures as a result of the exponential rate of change and technological advancements. Companies face the dual challenge of commoditisation driven by globalisation and the disruptive forces of nontraditional competitors entering their marketspace with product and service offerings targeting their customers. B2B companies have the added challenge of multiple stakeholders involved in almost every purchasing decision and the fact that potential customers know more about their options than the sales person. BUSINESS MODEL CHALLENGES Compounding these business environment challenges are business models that preclude a company from being the low-cost or differentiated option in its chosen market segment. THE TIME HAS COME In the face of these challenges, companies that depend on their sales organisation to grow revenue, improve margins…

7 min.
why new leaders should be wary of quick wins

As soon as you step into a top position at a company that needs to significantly improve the way it operates, there’s pressure to get off to a quick start. Yet the best way to succeed, paradoxically, is to slow things down. Forces pushing in the other direction — toward hyperspeed — are powerful, of course. You must prove you are the right leader by getting the organisation to deliver better results, and soon. That’s why you were brought in. So, you set out for early wins in what seem like obvious areas to fix — on the cost side, perhaps the speed of processes within production, and on the revenue side, the size of the sales force. But rushing toward early wins, even in areas that seem uncontroversial, can be unexpectedly hazardous. That’s…

3 min.
the sales leader dilemma - doing more with less

Each year, many sales leaders face the reality of an increasing target and static headcount. Some are blessed with new products or additional marketing to support the cause. Others are left with the challenge of doing more with less. Sales is often one of the last functional areas to invest in process improvement. After all, sales isn’t about manufacturing widgets, and what does having a karate belt have to do with efficiency? There are surprisingly simple concepts that can help you get more out of your sales team. Peter Drucker said: “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.” Understanding how your team is spending their time is the most important opportunity you have. THE FIRST STEP IS TO MEASURE Peter Drucker said: “If you can’t measure it, you can’t improve it.” Understanding…

5 min.
what subscription business models mean for sales teams

Across the technology industry, subscription sales models are growing in popularity. The trend is having a big impact on sales forces. For example, an enterprise software company recently transitioned from selling custom software as a one-time product to selling monthly SaaS (software as a service) subscriptions. The company’s sales people were used to seeking out new customers, closing big deals, and then moving on to the next prospect. Now, they also had to cultivate ongoing customer relationships to ensure contracts got renewed, in addition to seeking out opportunities to expand business. As ongoing account management activities consumed more and more sales time, new customer acquisition slowed down – and the company’s revenue growth began slowing too. The subscription sales trend in cloud computing (and many other industries) means more companies are…

2 min.
choosing sms and choosing the right provider

Over and above providing a simple and cost-effective way of communicating with customers, the benefits of SMS are hard to ignore. Here are our top six reasons why companies still choose SMS: 1. SMS Reaches Worldwide SMS is one of the few technologies that reaches people regardless of where they are. You can send an SMS message to any mobile phone on any mobile network, in any country in the world. 2. SMS is Reliable The sending and receiving of SMS messages is not reliant on an Internet connection or access to data, making it more reliable than Internet-based communication channels such as WhatsApp and voice channels, such as VoIP. 3. SMS Costs Money, and that’s a good thing! The costs involved in sending an SMS help limit the traffic on the SMS channel. Instead of…