Blog

Philip Squire

Building a Competitive Advantage through Sales Apprenticeships

Philip Squire / 23 August 2017
Building a Competitive Advantage through Sales Apprenticeships
There's plenty of research to support the view that investing in the right talent conveys substantial competitive advantage (for examples, see McKinsey's various papers on the "War for Talent"). Unfortunately, however, supplies of such talent are shrinking: the talent pool is constrained by sheer demographics as fewer younger replacements flow through as the population ages. For sales organisations in the information age, competition for high-performing talent is especially fierce. Today, salespeople need a complex mix of communication and business skills. Firms spend considerable time and resources identifying, recruiting, developing and retaining professional salespeople who can thrive in today's fast-changing commercial ...
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Philip Squire

The Big Bang of Sales Professionalism

Philip Squire / 24 May 2017
The Big Bang of Sales Professionalism
by Dr. Philip Squire, CEO This month is a landmark in the development of the sales profession. The government has approved in principle the first-ever apprenticeship standard for business-to-business sales professionals in England. The standard is for a Level 6 Degree Apprenticeship, which will enable participants to gain a Bachelor's Degree on completion of their apprenticeship. This means that, from September, school leavers and company employees can look forward to being able to study part-time for a degree in B2B Sales while they are working. What's more, they will not only be paid but the employer funds all of the ...
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Ian Helps

It’s H2H – Sales is Human to Human

Ian Helps / 03 March 2014
Have you ever seen the link between sales and end of life care? You probably haven't, and neither had I until I ran a workshop on sales enablement with my local hospice. It turns out that the connection is that both are about H2H or human-to-human interactions in which the mindsets of people are what matters. As part of the pre-briefing in setting up the workshop, I was told that there would be attendees from both the hospice's fund-raising and clinical teams. The clinical teams, being nurses, have been concerned that they don't know about sales and were even embarrassed ...
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Ian Helps

Reflection - the salesperson's antidote to obsolescence

Ian Helps / 18 December 2013
As a sales professional, are you changing fast enough to remain mission critical to your customers as their own world transforms? Most sales people we meet are in "survival mode", hoping that this quarter will be OK, that their critical few customers will remain loyal and that they can close their forecast key deals by the end of the period. The brutal truth is that things are going to continue to change faster. Sooner or later you will have to revolutionalise your personal development strategy or face obsolescence, to be replaced by a "newer model" of sales professional or an ...
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Philip Squire

It's not your fault...

Philip Squire / 28 May 2013
Research conducted by our own organisation between 2005 and 2008 (part of a global doctoral research project) and continued since with customer interviews shows that less than 10% of customers sell to them in the way they would like. So who is to blame? No industry has publically been criticised for its poor efficacy of selling as the banking industry. I can remember instances (this will resonate with many) at the annual review discussion with my banking account manager that they had to go through a rather embarrassing set of questions - clearly forced to talk about products that they ...
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Anne Feeney

"Transformation", has too many meanings

Anne Feeney / 14 May 2013
Why do 70% of change programmes fail? Could it be that imposed change initiatives often delivered at a group level induce conformity and compliance but not the individual commitment that real sustainable change requires? In fact not the transformational change that was promised or hoped for when corporates launch their cultural change programmes. Our MSc with Middlesex has the title 'leading sales transformation' but what does this word 'transformational' actually mean? It pops up everywhere in business literature these days but is it after all just marketing hype – a sexy word used to make business as usual sound more ...
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Geraldine Locke

Five 'must-have's' of sales leadership development training

Geraldine Locke / 28 February 2013
If you want to engage in professional development, there has never been a better time. There has never been more choice of provider, or flexibility of delivery, which makes it a whole lot harder to choose who to use or where to go! As the architect of the first MSc in Sales Leadership, Consalia has spoken to a large number of clients who are excited and driven about providing the best possible training for their people, and here we share some of the key things we have learned. So here are some key pointers for you to look at when ...
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Ian Helps

Sales Leadership, what level are you at?

Ian Helps / 14 February 2013
Sales Leadership Levels: Becoming a true Sales Leader In a previous blog "Think Time" I outlined how critical it is for a sales leader to take time to think. I now look at the consequences of this in more detail. Our research has shown that there are 3 distinct archetypes of sales manager, with increasing levels of impact. We start with the lowest performers. Super Salesperson – someone who has yet to make the transition to manager, whatever their job title may say. Has probably not received mentoring or leadership development to enable them to build a new vocabulary and ...
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Ian Helps

Think Time

Ian Helps / 28 January 2013
The Foundation for Sales Leaders to Realise Their True Potential "As a sales leader, how much time do you spend thinking?" This challenge was offered to a group of business and sales leaders by Sir Graeme Lamb, KBE, CMG, DSO, former Lieutenant General in the British Army at Global Sales Transformation event held recently by Consalia. You will have your own unique response. Sir Graeme stunned our audience by stating that he routinely spent 1/3 of his time reflecting, or “white wall staring” as he called it. This blog sets-out why thinking time matters for sales leaders. Sales is faced ...
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Philip Squire

Tactful Audacity & The Challenger Sale

Philip Squire / 14 January 2013
Do we now need to consider a paradigm shift in the way we in the sales industry think about selling? A new research study and the subsequent book, 'The Challenger Sale' has recently been making waves in the field of sales. Its findings further fuelled the suggestion that a major shift in perceptions is required for "what good looks likes like in terms of selling effectiveness". This is a far cry from the traditional focus of addressing productivity of sales forces through a 'competency' and 'process based' perspectives, which even after large scale investment often yields little or no long-term ...
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