Improving the Sales Force

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Article Title: Improving the Sales Force
Author: Cranfield University, SilentEdge
Url & Date Retrieved: http://silentedge.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2011/01/cranfield-report-18.01.2011.pdf 3/14/13

Main Idea
This article analyzes the data from several sales people in three different areas new business sales, telesales, and account management. With the data it puts together 8 profiles that each sales person can fit into. Ranging from least effective to most those 8 types are socializer, dealmaker, narrator, product focused, story teller, consultant, product closer, and expert. Important Facts

* There are 8 types of sales people.
* Great sales people can be made.
* Listening is a skill most if not all sales people can improve. * Too much focus on one skill can be counter productive
* Preparation and thinking on your feet are the most associated with sales success Agree/Disagree
I agree with this article in the fact that great sales people can be made. Most if not all of the skills discussed in this article are not instinctive skills, therefore they can be learned. Although I cannot disagree with the data, I find it hard to believe there was such a small gap between the skill sets of new business sales and account managers. Without proving you are above average in sales I cannot see how you could make it into account management. Another point I saw and agreed with is that in most of the groups one skill came up repeatably: listening. In sales I believe this is by far the most important skill one can possess. Most other skills feed off your listening skills and thus by improving your listening skills you can inadvertently increase several other skills. For instance by listening more to the customer you gain a better understanding of their objections and it becomes easier to overcome them. Also by listening closer you it is easier to spot possible soft closes therefore increasing your closing ratio. Preparation and thinking on your feet...
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