Thursday, July 05, 2012

Harvard Business Review - The Most Important Predictor of Sales Success

As an old hand at business startups, I believe the most ignored piece of that story is sales.

However, nothing is more critical to the success of ANY enterprise than creating - selling - new customers. Here's a good new article on the subject from Harvard Business Review:

"The Most Important Predictor of Sales Success"

"No profession in business has a more complex reputation than sales. When we think of salespeople — from Willy Loman in Death of a Salesman to Donald Trump to Steve Jobs — all kinds of contradictory ideas and images jangle in our minds. They can be persuaders and bullies, seducers and rogues, dream-makers and charlatans. But without them, no business exists."

"It's not just salespeople who must sell. Entrepreneurs must persuade others of the value of an idea or company which has yet to take concrete form. CEOs must convince the board, markets, employees, and customers that what they are doing is valuable. Politicians, artists, and scientists all must sell themselves and their work in order to succeed."

"Sales is the most human and richly nuanced aspect of business and yet, amazingly, is not even a required course at most business schools. MBA students are dutifully taught finance, strategy and operations as if revenue appeared by magic and salespeople were at best a necessary evil."

"...what enables a salesperson to succeed is that they've found a match between who they are and what they are being required to do."

I tend to love smart people that agree with me. That said...

Nothing is more important in business than having real customers and ways to make more of them. That's what sales and market development are all about.

Harvard Business Review. "The Most Important Predictor of Sales Success". Written by Philip Delves Broughton, 6/27/12. Thanks.

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