Helping people and businesses sell better
 

The Business Case for educating Sales Professionals and Sales Leaders in Business Acumen

More and more is being asked of sales people and sales managers when it comes to business knowledge and commercial acumen. Gone are the days of just being a product expert. Sales people need to be competent business people too.

Being able to understand strategy (sales strategy); how businesses, markets, and communities function; and where we, our products, services and business works in concert with our clients is on the agenda in business. Today, clients expect to communicate and deal with a real professional who knows how business functions. They want to have business discussions not product discussions.

Studies Show

Our studies reveal that there is little if any discussion about the big picture or business strategy, or innovation or supplier integration. A surprising finding was the low level of business knowledge and commercial acumen with sales managers in the technical product sectors – very focused on product quality, distribution and service they are not working at the required level to make business decisions and work strategically with clients.
 

Barrett has developed a 2 day Introduction to Business Acumen Program for Sales Managers and high level sales people.

Business man in front of a huge mazeThe program is designed to:
  • give sales professionals an overview of the key fundamentals of business management and what it takes to lead and manage a business
  • help them plan and manage their business or client portfolios more effectively
  • enhance their interactions with clients and allow them to present as a business person, not just a product sales person.
  • build their awareness and deepen their empathy with their clients
  • Help them be better corporate citizens within their own companies making sure they attract and orchestrate the right kind of business for their own organisation
Program includes cases studies, simulations and theory. Participants work on developing and running their own 'fictional' business.

The Business Acumen for Sales Professionals covers 9 key topics:
  1. Leadership
  2. Strategy
  3. Planning
  4. Culture
  5. People
  6. Customers
  7. Processes
  8. Measurement
  9. Execution
 
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Mark Hand, Former General Manager(now Managing Director ANZ Retail & Distribution) and Brad Greenwood, Head of Business Development - Regional Commercial Banking
We worked closely with Barrett at the beginning of 2009 to develop a tailored Sales Program for ~300 Relationship Managers nationally. This program focused on understanding and developing core components for sales fitness through a very practical 3 day course - which included key concepts such as message intent, backwards planning, valid business reasons, effective questioning and offering solutions. This was supported back in the field by our Regional Managers who delivered 10 follow up sessions and infield coaching after extensive training and coaching by Barrett. At the time the sales training program rolled out, our business unit was going through a major restructure, and Sue's deep practical sales experience together with her great empathy and sensitivity ensured our relationship managers came away with: greater role clarity, heightened self awareness regarding the importance of goals, accountability, leadership, health and attitude for sales success; and practical sales tools to effectively plan, manage and deliver their sales targets.
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