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Sales Growth: Five Proven Strategies from the World's Sales Leaders [Hardcover]

Thomas Baumgartner , Homayoun Hatami , Jon Vander Ark , Marc Benioff

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Book Description

April 24 2012
A comprehensive guide to how companies can drive sales growth

Finding growth today can be an enormous challenge for companies in a complex and fast-changing business environment. There are no simple solutions, but in Sales Growth, experts from McKinsey & Company provide a practical blue-print for achieving this goal by revealing what world-class sales executives are doing right now to find growth and capture it—as well as how they are creating the capabilities to keep growing in the future.

Broken down into five overarching strategies, this book focuses on the valuable lessons that power growth, including how to get ahead of the competition by taking advantage of trends and turning complex analysis into simple guidelines that sales reps on your front line need to sell better. Page by page, you'll learn how successful sales executives find untapped pockets of growth, act like locals to make the most of emerging markets opportunities, and power growth through digital sales. You'll also discover what it takes to find big growth in big data, develop the right "sales DNA" in your organization, and improve channel performance.

  • Based on interviews of more than 120 of today's most successful global sales leaders, from a wide array of B2C and B2B organizations
  • Offers real-life examples of how successful sales leaders overcame the challenges encountered in the quest for growth
  • Contains insights on finding growth before your competitors, optimizing sales operations and technology, developing sales talent and capabilities, and much more

Created by sales executives for sales executives, this book will provide you with the practical guidelines and useful insights to drive sales growth today and in the future.


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Review

Sales Growth belongs in the selling-as-science school. The book argues that data, process management and outsourcing can do as much for sales departments as for other areas of the corporation. Companies should create sales ‘factories’ where sales teams are ministered to by support people from other disciplines, and equip them with computing devices rather than briefcases. This book, which finally gives the field some proper attention, is long overdue."—The Economist  "Can the Dubious Art of Selling Become More Scientific?" (Book Review, April 6, 2012)

"Reading this book is like walking into a room where more than a hundred of the world’s sales leaders are openly sharing their perspectives. Sales Growth puts sales management back where it belongs: at the center of management thinking about what makes business successful."
—MARC BENIOFF, Chairman and CEO, salesforce.com

"If timing is everything, then Sales Growth has it made. We are at an inflection point where massive changes in technology and customer behavior point to growth opportunities. This book provides a critical blueprint for bridging those opportunities—both those in future and right in front of us."
—RICHARD KELLAM, Global Chief Customer Officer, Mars

"This book is a must read for sales executives in emerging markets. The research and practical ideas clearly spell out how to create a global sales strategy with a local edge."
—RICARDO VILLELA MARINO, CEO, Itaú Latin America, Board Member, Itaú Unibanco

"Sales Growth shares wisdom that successful sales leaders have cultivated to create greater value for their customers and their companies. It offers a compelling set of case examples that combine the art of selling with true analytical rigor and operational know-how."
—GERHARD GSCHWANDTNER, CEO, Selling Power magazine

"Improving sales performance with methods and tools is a must. A refreshing change beyond the common focus on back office and operational excellence. This book is fact based and takes a unique customer perspective. I have no doubt that the practical insights laid out here lead to sales growth."
—MICHEL CROCHON, Executive Vice-President, Schneider Electric

"Sales Growth is essential reading for business leaders and MBA students. It is a thoughtful and practical addition to the discipline of sales management. Using timely stories and provocative anecdotes, the authors provide executives with an important and accessible book."
—DAVID SCHMITTLEIN, John C. Head III Dean, MIT Sloan School of Management

From the Inside Flap

The challenges facing today's sales executives and their organizations continue to grow, but so do the expectations that they will find ways to overcome them and drive consistent sales growth.

There are no simple solutions to this situation, but in Sales Growth, experts from McKinsey & Company provide a practical blueprint for achieving this goal by exploring what world-class sales executives are doing right now to find growth and capture it—as well as how they are creating the capabilities to keep growing in the future.

Based on interviews with more than 120 of today's most successful global sales leaders from a wide array of organizations and industries, Sales Growth puts the experiences of these professionals in perspective and offers real-life examples of how they've overcome the challenges encountered in the quest for growth.

The book, broken down into five overarching strategies for successful sales growth, shares valuable lessons on everything from how to beat the competition by looking forward to turning complex analysis into simple messages for the front line. Page by page, you'll learn how sales executives are digging deeper than ever to find untapped growth, maximizing emerging markets opportunities, and powering growth through digital sales. You'll also discover what it takes to find big growth in big data, develop the right "sales DNA" in your organization, and improve channel performance.

The in-depth interviews with sales leaders at BMW, Caterpillar, Coca-Cola Enterprises, EMC, Google, Lattice Engines, Novartis, Pioneer Hi-Bred, salesforce.com, Samsung, SWIFT, VimpelCom, Vodafone, and Würth provide rare insights into a range of topics. Their stories, as well as numerous case studies, touch on some of the most essential elements of sales, from adapting channels to changing customer needs to optimizing sales operations and technology, developing sales talent and capabilities, and effectively leading the way to sales growth.

Engaging and informative, this timely book details proven approaches to tangible top-line growth and an improved bottom line. Created specifically for sales executives, it will put you in a better position to drive sales growth in today's competitive market.


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.4 out of 5 stars  11 reviews
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A good read on a neglected topic April 11 2012
By Frau Lamb - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
As the authors themselves point out, sales management doesn't get a lot of attention either from B-schools or from business publishers. Sales Growth is an ambitious attempt to make up for this neglect. Based on discussions with 120 sales executives from companies that are especially skilled at selling, it distills lessons for sales success. Selling is changing dramatically today, and the book covers many aspects of this shift: new kinds of data, new technologies, new markets, new channels.

I expected a book from McKinsey to have a lot of solid information and interesting ideas, and Sales Growth certainly delivers on these counts. What I didn't expect was that it would be so readable. The writing is clear and lively - even fun at times.

Instead of presenting a lot of theory, the authors make their points with examples, often letting sales executives speak for themselves. For example, each chapter includes an interview with a top sales manager of a major company. Hearing what successful sales leaders from companies like Coca-Cola, Google, Novartis, or salesforce.com have to say was a highlight. The final chapter, which shows how to put the ideas from the rest of the book into action, seems very hands-on and practical, especially the list of questions for a management discussion of sales topics and the examples of what successful companies do in each area.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Creatng the Sales Advantage July 4 2012
By Elinor Stutz - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Sales Growth is a gift from executives of top corporations sharing their insights on how to expand sales growth. The idea of collaboration among departments, complementary industries and customers is well-worth serious consideration as are the many other important insights provided. In addition, interviews with these executives provide outstanding insight on what they consider to be their best strategies. This book isn't just for larger companies. Entrepreneurs, too, will do well to adapt the successes found by these companies to fit their budget.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sales Growth - Five Proven Strategies from the World's Sales Leaders May 30 2012
By Jim Estill - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
My experience in business is that sales can make or break a company.

The book comes at an important time for large corporations that are facing a challenging global market - how to grow sales. The book is written by three McKinsey and Company partners so the analysis is clean and full of good data but dry. The value of the book is designed for large, established companies. Over 120 Sales executives from Coca Cola, Salesforce.com, BMW and others are included in the book, in fact each chapter ends with an interview with one of those executives. The foreword was written by Marc Benioff, the CEO and Founder of Salesforce.com - his personal story is very compelling.

The five proven strategies are not surprising, but it's the examples and interviews that provide the most important insights. The strategies are:

1. Find growth before your competitors do
2. Sell the way your customers want
3. Soup up your sales engine (support sales with good technology and corporate resources)
4. Focus on your people
5. Lead sales growth (sales executives have to be on the front lines)

The book has a big focus on emerging markets and relates a sales joke that is worth retelling (you may have heard it before). It's about two sales people for a shoe company sent to an emerging market for research. One person comes back and says that there is no opportunity in the market because no one wears shoes. The other person comes back excited saying the opportunity is immense because "no one wears shoes." This joke starts a chapter called "Sell Like a Local in Emerging Markets" which goes into detail on the risks and strategies for growing sales in emerging markets.

This book would be most helpful for readers with a general interest in sales strategies for large companies or for sales people in such companies. The interviews and comments from the 120 executives is the most interesting aspect of the book.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sales at the heart of management April 25 2012
By Brooklyn Molly - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I've read plenty of sales books but this is the first one that covers all the aspects of sales. There's a chapter on how to break into emerging markets, one on digital sales, one on leadership, among others. They even have a chapter on how sales execs can use big data, which makes this book feel relevant to issues today. One thing I appreciated was how sales has to work with other parts of the organization, an issue that's often ignored. Business is about selling, so it makes sense that sales has to work with other parts of the company. Any chapter could be a book on its own but the authors do a good job of providing readable, useful, and insightful coverage of all the issues around sales.

The authors interviewed 120 sales leaders but I particularly enjoyed the interview that's highlighted at the end of each chapter. Some pretty good names, and very readable. You certainly get a sense of what these people are doing to move sales. It comes across as real. A good and necessary read for anyone who wants to sell something.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tight read, to the point. Aug. 6 2012
By Robert N. May - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Great read that provides relevant examples and quick takeaways. Yet, there is some strategic undertones every sales and marketing leader should embrace. I like Baumgartner's approach of allowing top executives to validate their success rather than him delivering it on high.

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