Below you find a range of articles/blogs on various sales excellence related topics. They might help, guide, advise, motivate or just entertain. If you want to subscribe and receive updates then, please click here.

Mar-2014Distributor-Principal love-hate relationship

  In business to business sales environments, often both the sales process and sales relationships are of a complex nature. Sales cycles are long, decision making units are big and there are a numerous dependencies between products and services of a broad range of companies - including competition. Few things seem to be simple.  
Oct-2013Managing and leading Generation Y
 With more generation Y’ers, or millenniums, entering the work place, managers are increasingly confronted with the differences between generations. This may be especially true in high tech industries where knowledge and experience is valued over creativity or imagination. Many millenniums will feel out of place in these environments and if not properly addressed, what initially started as a generation gap becomes a talent gap. This article shares some competencies that managers and leaders require to start the needed cultural transformation.
Jul-2013CRM, a blessing or a curse?
 Sell more and sell better. That is essentially the sales pitch of most CRM vendors and since the term was first coined in the early nineties they have done a lot of effort to create systems that prove that claim. Yet, 15 years later and independent whether companies are high or low tech, less than one in ten customer facing employees uses CRM and still over half of the first time CRM implementations fail to meet customer expectations. This makes you wonder, “Am I now blessed or cursed when I have or don’t have a CRM system?”
 Mar-2013Sales talent management, key for sales excellence
 Talent management is the mid to long-term process to match the workforce competencies with business goals and requirements. Undeniable a more talented workforce drives a better performing organization and ensures better financial results. More and more, people are the differentiating factor in any company's performance. Just look at the high prices that (software) companies pay to acquire the employees and IP of smaller companies with little or no revenues. Some organizations have recognized this and have or are planning to put specific leaders and teams in place to improve the talent management process. There are reasons though to give sales talent management a special consideration.
 Dec-2012Semiconductors: Semi-specialty or Semi-commodity? 
 Commodities: products treated by customers as equivalent independent of the supplier due to a lack of perceived differentiation.  Obviously, semiconductors and other electronics products are not like oil or copper. Yet, it feels that the industry is ‘commoditizing’ at an increasing speed. It stands to reason that in part this is because insufficient effort is done to ensure the frontline is equally or better equipped than the customers they are serving.
Sept-2012What value does a distributor have? 

Once, electronic component distribution was a lucrative business that added value to both customers and principals because of their unique business and customer insights and expertise. Over the years however, whilst service levels went up, margins have declined and the distributor’s value has shifted from customer insights to logistics and operational excellence. Squeezed in the middle, can a distributor still add value?
June-2012A new breed of B2B sales: relevant many-taskers 
 A previous articles “Why B2B sales jobs are getting more complex” ended with a “call for a new breed of structured IT-savvy sales people who combine sales competencies with business development, product marketing and application engineering skills.” To coin a term to describe these all-round sales professionals: many-taskers.
May-2012Strategies for using iPads in sales
 With Mercedez Benz, General Mills and other huge labels buying into iPads for sales, it's easy to imagine the device as some sort of silver bullet for sales. In reality, the technology will only live up to its full potential with careful mobile strategic planning
Apr-2012 Why B2B sales jobs are getting more complex
  A few weeks ago, I had a conversation with a top executive of a leading semiconductor company, discussing the various aspects that influence sales performance and the changing role of sales in general. I was of the opinion that the sales job is getting easier whilst his view was that the job of a salesperson was actually getting more difficult. Both of us used similar reasons. Adding them up though I had to agree with him and here is why.
Mar-2012 Sports as a model for the (sales) organization
  In sports, the line-up of your team can make the difference between winning and losing. How often do we see more talented teams or clubs with more resources ($) and better gear being defeated by what were considered 'lesser' teams?  Like in business, it is about making the best possible use of limited existing resources. 
Feb-2012Hiring outside the industry
 In many industries, there is a limited pool of sales and marketing talent and managers spare little effort to get the best people, preferable from competition. But, how do you know he is the best person? Having worked for the competition or knowing the industry does not guarantee a top performance in your company. In fact, the pool may be overfished and your catch a leftover. The alternative: hiring outside your industry.
Feb-2012 How to improve bad sales and marketing reports 
  Why is it that sales and marketing professionals have an issue with reporting, being it in PowerPoint, e-mail or SFA? Both the quality of the reports and the review process, if any, are to blame. Here are a few tips to improve, increase performance and motivate employees along the way.
Feb-2012  Results of Employee Development Survey
   EnFeat launched in November 2011 an informal survey on its website to acquire insights in how employees in the Electronics and Semiconductor industry feel about their personal development, the efforts their companies do and their opinion about the courses and development they received to date. Here are the results
Jan-2012  Are IT systems undermining your company's productivity?
   Does introducing more IT systems and computerization lead to higher productivity?  Why, after all the investments made in software solutions from enterprise resource planning and e-mail to sales force automation, are companies struggling to setup an infrastructure that increases employee’s productivity?
Jan-2012 Sales productivity and performance improvement (2)
  Previous article  resulted in quite a number of reactions of readers with the major question how to apply this in practice. No single treatment or medicine can cure all problems. In this article, we use EnFeat’s Front Line Maturity Model as an example of a starting point for sustainable performance improvement.  
Jan-2012 Sales productivity improvement - An integral approach
  Of 126 sales executives in a survey conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit in March 2010, 69% said that they are pro-actively evaluating new ways to enhance sales productivity. The same report cites also that 71% of respondents indicated, "Too much time spent on administrative tasks" as the biggest obstacles in improving productivity. What is needed is an integral approach.
Dec-2011 Flawed target setting 
  Incentive plans are widespread used in the semiconductor and electronics industry and a key tool for management to drive results and motivate employees using target-based incentives of 15-40% of the total compensation plan. Many companies and managers however, are not happy with their target setting and incentive plans, as they do not generate the expected results.
Dec-2011 Leading change
  Whether you lead from the top, lead from the middle or are a follower: change is inevitable and likely, due to the current economic climate, you will be already part of an organizational change or will be part of it in the next couple of months. Independent of your rank or function, here are some pointers.
Dec-2011 6 key questions to leverage your distributors 
  An efficient distribution network is a precondition for most high tech companies to reach their (potential) customer base. Whether or not you are truly leveraging on your distributors, or if you could further improve the performance, starts with these six questions.
Nov-2011 63% of your employees may leave because of development
  67% of the Singapore and 51% of the Vietnam semiconductor and electronics industry employees would leave their company if they found another company that would put more attention into their personal development. This is an interim update of our survey.
Nov-2011 Key accounts that are not key
  Key accounts (KA) are crucial for nearly every technology company. How can you make sure that the ‘right’ customers receives most of your valuable resources?  
Nov-2011 Targeted Email Marketing 
  There is no doubt that an e-newsletter can be a powerful communication and marketing tool. But many companies blast out email newsletters and hope for the best.
Nov-2011 What downturn? Pay less attention and it may help you to outperform competition
  The global economy is bad. It is the gloom and doom scenario and dependant on the type of industry; you could be in for a rough ride. Here are nine suggestions to help you to weather the downturn and outperform competition at the same time.
Oct-2011 Hiring sales talent in Asia
  The basics of hiring sales talent in Asia are similar to other regions. Language, culture and the wish to hire someone from the same industry, could hinder your chance of finding and selecting the talent you want.
Oct-2011 Frontline effectiveness and the sales and marketing civil war
  Tensions between your marketing and sales teams are running high. your employees are heading for the trenches and are taking their positions. It is just a matter of time before the next civil war of words commences.
Oct-2011 When things go wrong: communicate!
  This article is not about what companies can do, but about what you can do, when confronted with an issue or problem that affects your customers.