📅 6th May 2021 | 2020/21 Sales Book Reviews
Here’s Part 1 read on……
Selling Transformed broaches an overlooked topic, namely the role of corporate culture and leadership to sales. And Philip Squire has to be applauded for this.
However, the book makes some unfounded assumptions:
Moreover, the model presented for achieving sales (12.1) on p.198 begins with ‘leadership mindset’ but does not specify the type of mindset assumed, skirting the issue by writing that ‘we encourage sales leaders to develop their own version of the mindsets’ (p.199). Nor does the model make any reference to the customer. There is mention of the client and ‘client centricity’ on pp.205-206 but the interaction envisaged with the client appears to be one of fitting existing products/ services to client needs rather than fashioning products – co-creating if you like – around the needs of clients.
What is missing
Where could this have gone? My colleague, Professor Gloria Moss is the author of a cutting edge book, Inclusive Leadership (2019), that argues for a specific type of leadership, rooted in 15 competencies, that will deliver superior sales since these competencies, used in relation to customers, will build solid relationships that will feed back into the organisation through ideas about products and services. For example, one of the competencies is listening, and by this is meant ‘active listening’ in which the detailed suggestions of customers are acted upon. So, one small Norwegian business with a substantial market share in the business area in which it operates, organises regular workshops with its customers and acts on the suggestions made by the customers.
Of course, listening involves understanding and for as long as 83% of purchases are made by women, and with the finding that men and women have different product preferences (Moss, 2016), it does not make sense to have men largely in charge of sales and marketing fiefdoms.
Time for real change
In 1954, Drucker famously wrote that ‘there is only one valid definition of a business purpose: to create a customer’ and that ‘marketing is … the whole business seen from the point of view of its final result, that is from the customer’s point of view’ (1954, p.37). Then, in 1995, Michael Hammer, former Professor of Computing at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) stated that business survival depends on shaping products and services around the ‘unique and particular needs’ of their customer (Hammer, 1995). This launched the initiative known as ‘Business Process Engineering’ (BPR) and many consulting firms embarked on this process with their clients and developed BPR methods.
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