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The Choices, Systems, and Behaviors that Drive Effective Selling. A conversation with Harvard Business School professor and author Frank Cespedes
In the preface to Aligning Strategy and Sales, Frank Cespedes writes; "Selling is, by far, the most expensive part of implementation for most firms... The amount invested in sales forces (including salaries, benefits, and other components of SG&A -- selling, general and administrative expenses) is about $900 billion annually. This is more than five times the $170 billion spent on all media advertising in 2012 and more than twenty times the $40 billion spent on all online advertising and marketing in 2013."
According to Cespedes, that gap between your company's sales efforts and strategy? It's real-and a huge vulnerability. Addressing that gap, actionably and with attention to relevant research, is the focus of Aligning Strategy and Sales, published by Harvard Business Review Press.
Welcome to a Leadership Channel podcast on TotalPicture Radio, with Peter Clayton. Joining Peter for our interview with Harvard Business School professor and author Frank Cespedes is David Dalka, Business Transformation Consultant, Facilitator, and Keynote Speaker.
In Aligning Strategy and Sales, Cespedes equips business leaders to link go-to-market initiatives with strategic goals. Cespedes offers a road map to articulate strategy in ways that people in the field can understand and that will fuel the behaviors required for profitable growth. Without that alignment, leaders will press for better execution when they need a better strategy, or change strategic direction with great cost and turmoil when they should focus on the basics of sales execution.
Cespedes shows how sales efforts affect all elements of value creation in a business, whether you're a start-up seeking to scale or an established firm looking to jump-start new growth. The book provides key insights to optimize your firm's customer management activities and so improve selling and strategy. Most sales books go on and on about tactics and techniques, what first got you interested in the vast disconnect between sales and strategy?