Nov 13 • 53M

How to Manage Sales In A World That Never Stops Changing

Featuring Frank Cespedes

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Hi everybody, hope you are having a wonderful weekend! 

Our guest for this coaching session is a friend and former professor of mine, Frank Cespedes. Frank is a Senior Lecturer at Harvard Business School, where he teaches a variety of MBA and executive courses on Management, Marketing, Entrepreneurship, and Sales. Before joining the faculty, he worked at the strategy consulting firm Bain & Company and was Managing Partner at the Center for Executive Development.  An active investor, advisor, and board member, Frank is also a prolific writer. He’s written six books - mostly on sales (see links below) and dozens of articles for publications like Harvard Business Review, the Wall Street Journal, Entrepreneur Magazine, and Fortune.  He has also written more than 40 case studies for Harvard. 

In this conversation, Frank and I dive into one of his favorite topics, sales management, as we discuss his latest book, Sales Management That Works: How to Sell in a World That Never Stops Changing. He shares with us the professional, intellectual, and practical reasons for focusing a career on sales, the challenges associated with learning & training, and how he believes selling is changing (or not changing) in an increasingly remote world. We discuss the challenging shift many salespeople make from individual contributor to management, the importance of creating a culture of excellence, and how integrating sales into the overall company strategy is mission-critical in driving performance. We wrap with a discussion of how buyer behavior is changing in an increasingly data-rich, omnichannel world and how that impacts the role salespeople must play.

If any of these topics appeal to you more than another, feel free to check the show notes below. You will find links to the Key Takeaways doc, as well as timestamps so that you can skip ahead to the relevant part.

I found this conversation absolutely fascinating, and I hope you will too.

Let's dive in!

~ Michelle 

📝 Link to Key Takeaways Doc 📝

⏱️ Timestamps:

  • Why focus a career on sales? (5:28)

  • On training, learning & development (09:59)

  • Sales in a remote world (17:48)

  • Sales management (22:20)

  • Culture of excellence, performance management & strategy (27:31)

  • Sales & the macroeconomic situation (36:46)

  • What’s changing in sales (42:22)

  • Parting words (47:56)

📚 Referenced & Further Study: