To be effective, sales organizations must be aligned with company strategy and market demands. Join Goizueta Business School’s Professor of Marketing Sandy Jap, and the Sales Management Association’s Chairman Bob Kelly for a special two-day Goizueta Business School workshop: Sales Leadership and Channel Management, 13-14 March.
This workshop focuses on sales force strategy, sales channel optimization, sales performance management, and aligning business strategy with critical sales force governance, structure, and processes. Sandy Jap provides a preview of what you will learn:
1. What are the most important issues facing sales leaders?
Two key issues from my point of view is (1) thinking more creatively about how customers want to buy, versus just what they want to buy and (2) being more strategic about developing relationships and managing partnerships or alliances. I think most organizations put a lot of emphasis on the product(s) and what it can do for customers, but sometimes miss the fact that a lot of value can be created simply by making it easier for customers to buy from them.
2. What emerging skills will be important for sales leadership?
Many firms fail to think strategically about when it makes sense to develop close or deep relationships with customers. For example, in some firms, salespeople are referred to as “relationship managers,” which implies that every customer should be engaged in a relationship that goes beyond simply arms-length. The reality is that building relationships takes a lot of time and effort and is an expensive resource. In our program, I will share a framework for thinking about how and when relationships should be built as well as how to better assess one’s relationship portfolio with wide range of customer types.
3. How can sales leaders make sure they are well integrated with marketing?
This is often a structural problem, in the sense that many firms have siloed their salespeople from other key functions within the firm such as product development or even customer analytics. This is a mistake. Sometimes, salespeople need to sell themselves internally as much as they do externally to customers.
4. Are sales channels becoming more important? Is it becoming more difficult to optimize sales channels?
Absolutely, sales channels have always been and always will be the lifeblood of the firm. Without sales (revenues), the firm ceases to exist. However, in today’s world, the challenge is not really how to manage A sales channel, but how to manage multiple sales channels as an integrated system.
About the Author
Sandy Jap is the Sarah Beth Brown endowed Professor of Marketing at the Goizueta Business School and has published widely across the top academic journals in marketing and management science. Her most recent books is A Field Guide to Channel Strategy, a strategy how-to for competing in channel intensive sales environments. She is a former faculty member at the MIT Sloan School of Management and the Wharton School.
Bob Kelly is founder and chairman of the Sales Management Association and an adjunct faculty member of the Goizueta Business School, where he teaches a sales force effectiveness course to MBA students.
If you are a sales leader tasked with building a sales strategy or a sales professional looking to elevate your ability to manage the sales process in a complex organization, this course is ideal for you. Learn more and register here.