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Brexit. Opportunity or Threat for Sales?

Tuesday, December 6th, 2016

Brexit. We all have our personal opinions but what does it mean for businesses in the UK, their future growth and prosperity? Pick up any newspaper and the answer is unclear. A sample of Brexit articles across any given week highlights a whole range of different scenarios for the future prospects of the UK economy.

The only thing we can say for certain is that the future is uncertain, not unlike the environment businesses faced following the financial crash of 2008.  At that time, a group of researchers set out to determine why, in such hostile a environment, some salespeople continued to achieve sales at their pre-crash levels whilst others floundered.

What they identified through studying thousands of salespeople was that sales has changed. The rise of the internet has meant that customers can research suppliers much more easily than they could in the past and as a result will not make contact with those suppliers until much later in the buying process. There are also more people involved in the decision to buy so where in the past an ‘aggressive close’ on your customer could result in a sale, now that individual is unable to say yes.  Before committing to a purchase they are required to negotiate with their internal colleagues and must get sign-off from their stakeholders.

Furthermore, in a world dominated by price and value for money, suppliers have increasingly sought to differentiate themselves from the competition by developing the ‘solution sale’ in order to move their customers away from price.

Successful salespeople are those that have adapted to this new environment but it remains fiendishly difficult for employers to identify who will thrive.

We were fascinated when we came across this research. The sheer scale of the research into thousands of salespeople across industries, markets and geographies led us to believe it was credible. What we wanted to do was to see if there was any other research out there into what good salespeople looked like. Of course sales is a subject that has been widely written about by a range of ‘experts’ but what we found interesting was that there is very little that is research or evidence-based. We wanted to create something that was research-led, not guru-led and this has involved an extensive trawl through of some of the best-selling sales books, articles and publications, as well as less well-known academic research, to pinpoint the key factors that are exhibited in the top sales performers.

The result is our Sales Pinnacle model- eight critical sales behaviours that we can assess in your candidates. To find out more, call us on 01423 563644.