Here’s our library of useful resources and articles.

Browse this section for articles on

Strategic & consultative selling

Sales management & leadership

Business & workforce transformation

Coaching & mentoring development

Making the business case for technology

Strategic and Consultative Sales skills

Archive

Here’s you’ll find a collection of articles which offer a great insight into the facts that still hold true today and a glimpse into how the world is changing. We think they show that our approach is built on firm foundations and that we’ve always been ahead of the game in spotting and adapting to trends.

Come in from the Cold
Telemarketing seems to be having a resurgence as a core component in an overall marketing and lead nurturing strategy. This article from 2000 signalled some of the changes we see now, in particular the need for more sophisticated and personalised approaches.

Customer Comeback
Relationships alone are not enough but this article highlighted what customers liked and disliked about salespeople and the way they build relationships – and the lessons still hold true today. Customers want their sales contacts to add value to their business and be honest and easy to do business with.

Are you made of the right stuff?
Back in 2002 we said that good products and good relationships are no longer enough. And that is even truer today in this world of the ‘challenger’ sale. This article offers still relevant pointers for those thinking about a move into sales

Comparing IT sales with other industries
Fascinating snapshot into the world of sales and salaries circa 2002 in this comparison of IT sales versus other business-to-business (B2B) sales professions

Could you be the greatest?
What’s the difference between a good salesperson and a great one? Back in 2002 Anna Britnor Guest put together the recipe for exceptional performance. The foundations of what we now know as the ‘challenger’ sale are there and the 7 most important skills for salespeople are still relevant even if we should now add an additional 1 or 2.

The Big Picture
How do companies define sales territories? Interestingly, the picture hasn’t changed that much and, whilst lead generation has become more sophisticated and customer profiling and segmentation more prominent, this article sums up how the majority of companies divide their sales territories today. Perhaps it’s time for a shake up?

Selling Strategies in the 21st Century
A succinct overview on the changing landscape that we forecast in 2001 and, whilst the world has moved on and our language evolved, much of this holds true today. What type of sales organisation are you – transactional feature/price driven, relationship or solution led or do you take a more business-led approach that provides challenge and consultancy in partnership with your customer?

Sales Coach series

The following sales tips were published as a monthly column in Infomatics from 1999 to 2002:

Cold calling

First meetings

Targeting accounts by culture compatibility

Targeting accounts effectively

Influence buys from influence

Listening skills

Closing the sale: time & money

Taking stock of progress

Effective forecasting

Moving from sales support to field sales

Moving up the value chain

Gaining gravitas

Bearing bad news

Networking for business

Developing a professional communication style

Closing the sale – last minute price negotiations

Managing a lost sale

Formal ITTs

First meetings: should I PowerPoint present?

Getting organised

Developing confidence

Holding in-depth conversations

Presenting for impact

Career planning

Developing a consultative selling culture

Managing stress

Working with angry customers

Working effectively with colleagues

Assertiveness

Missing Targets

Sales management and leadership

You the Coach
Sales managers who learn how to coach and develop their staff are likely to score higher on both staff morale and results. Classic tips on how to get started.

Learning to lead
Salespeople don’t always find it easy to move into a managerial role. Finding out how to focus on both tasks and team can help smooth the path

Business & workforce strategy

Business disruption requires thought disruption
Inspired by an IOD talk by the Economist’s Adrian Wooldridge, this blog challenges us to think beyond the obvious polarised views and explore some of the ‘norms’ affected by business and economic disruption

The age of the ageless workforce
Transformational change tends to happen when several trends intersect and create a compelling reason to change. And, we might argue, that time is now. This blog post challenges the current focus on the millennial workforce and sets out how and why we should create a work environment where all ages can excel

Coaching & mentoring development

Archive

Here’s you’ll find a collection of articles which offer a great insight into the facts that still hold true today and a glimpse into how the world is changing. We think they show that our approach is built on firm foundations and that we’ve always been ahead of the game in spotting and adapting to trends.

A Coach, A Mentor… A What?…
Mentoring can claim a 3000 year headstart on coaching, but both are proving powerful aids to personal and organisational change and development. This article, published way back in 1999, has been referenced and reproduced over and over again in publications, press and websites (4 pages of google at last check!). We’re still very proud of it!

Coaching – Take the ride – but avoid the bandwagon
Coaching had been around long enough and become sufficiently ingrained in many organisations to prove wrong those who dismissed it as a ‘fad’. But, Anna Britnor Guest and Pauline Willis asked back in 2003, wss the bandwagon starting to roll?

DIY Development
You know how to manage your accounts, territory and pipeline. But how are you managing your own learning and development? L&D professionals talk today about the 70-20-10 approach to learning and this article from 2001 reinforces the self-service, just in time approaches that are so prevalent and useful today.

Organisational Mentoring
This article, written for an international business women’s network takes a brief look at the value and opportunities for mentoring in an organisational, rather than personal, context

Strategy For Success
Quick tips for making sure your coaching and mentoring gets off on the right foot

Professional makeover
If we really want to make a difference to our business and personal success we need to focus on the things that will have the biggest impact. So, here are some ideas to ensure that this time next year your business really is on track for long-term success! First published as New Year, New You

Diversity mentoring
Serving and managing a diverse workforce calls for diverse leadership, explained Zulfi Hussain, in this article on BT’s Minority Ethnic Network – a pioneering e-mentoring scheme which launched in 2001.

Mentoring on the Move
Social media and video may now help us connect across the world but this article raises still relevant points about how mentoring supports expatriate or geographically mobile workers adapt to different work and home life environments as they travel or relocate

Mentoring for SMEs
A quick look at how mentoring can deliver real returns for smaller businesses.

Executive Coaching in the Legal Profession
Coaching has become a corner-stone for management and staff development world-wide. This article highlighted some of the opportunities and challenges that have faced the legal profession in embracing coaching and mentoring

Fast Coach
The sports coach is dedicated to helping each athlete perform to his or her highest potential. A business or sales coach does the same for your professional performance. An introduction to business and sales coaching.

The Personal Touch
Written for the Institute of Sales & Marketing Management’s members’ publication, we explored how companies are employing professional coaches to improve the performance of individuals within the sales team

Making the business case for technology

The internet of everything – good, bad or indifferent?
This blog raises questions about the value of internet of things (IOT) to business – how IOT needs to translate into specific uses that make business or personal life better in order to cross the chasm to adoption

The rise of the connected machines
Anna Britnor Guest participated in The Guardian’s round table on ‘the internet of everything: a catalyst for a startup economy?’ This is the Guardian’s insightful write-up and video comment on the discussion

Standards and the internet of things webchat – 7 things we learned
Highlights from the Guardian Media & Tech Network’s webchat on what the internet of things means for the technology sector, business and wider society. Featuring Anna Britnor Guest.

Archive

Here’s you’ll find a collection of articles which offer a great insight into how the IT sales world is changing – what we forecast and what we didn’t. Some of the IT sales trends and needs we flagged up back in 2003 are hot topics today! We think they show that our approach is built on firm foundations and that we’ve always been ahead of the game in spotting and adapting to trends.

SMB adoption of Unified Communications comes of age
Unified Communications for the smaller business has been likened to the proverbial teenage sex – everyone talking about but no one actually doing it. This article written for Comms4Business in 2008, offers an interesting snapshot of the then state of the market. Plus ҫa change?

Selling Unified Communications in recessionary markets
This article from 2009 looked at how to sell unified communications in a recessionary market by delivering business benefit where it is needed most. We also flagged the shift in terminology from unified communications to collaboration. The tips hold true in our current flat economy too!

Convergence: in search of the killer app
Oh how everyone was looking for a killer app back in 2003! One of the first articles to be published on selling convergence technologies it emphasised the need for understanding customer business needs, creating new opportunities and aligning business value and outcomes.