Case Study 1
In the feature article "The Ultimately Accountable Job", the author, Jerome A. Colletti and Mary S. Fiss, explain their opinions about how sales chiefs are leading today’s sales organization in two ways: dealing with the changing environment and taking on new roles rather than just delivering the numbers.
Bullet list of key issues
The new environment has made CSO’s job much harder and complicated than before.
CSOs have to strike the balance between hitting sales target and supporting the overall strategy.
CSOs need to spend more time interacting with customers.
CSOs should find the ideal sales model that related to the cooperate strategy.
Relevance to class This article talks about how customer development has made sales management more complicated than before because of their rising expectations and increasing power, which related back to what we’ve learned in class and from textbook. Both the article and the textbook emphasize how companies have changed their selling model from selling products in the short term to selling solutions, due to the fact that customers have paid enormous attention to the company strategy rather than the product itself. Apple for example, their customers buy Apple brand not just for the product but for innovation and inspiration. I also think the view in this article can somehow solve the problem raised in the case study where the person failed to maintain the balance between hitting the target number and supporting the company strategy. He could have done well by redesigning the sales structure to a more specialized sales role rather than forcing every representative to adopt the newest product.
Conclusion and analysis After reading this article, I’ve learned a few things from it. First of all, sales chiefs should increase customers’ engagement. They’re the kings to the company and a business won’t make progress without its customers. We should spend considerable time interacting with them, listening to their side of the story and making improvements based on their feedback. Building a strong relationship with them is critical and essential. If a problem arises, we know that the relationship is there, so we don’t need to spend any extra amount of time to establish it and all we have to do is discover the problem and fix it accordingly.
Secondly, sales chief officers have to think more outside of the “sales box”. They’re no longer responsible only for the sales figures. On the other hand they need to maintain the balance between hitting the target and supporting the company strategy. It’s not just simply about revenue growth or market share. We need to stand on a higher ground to view this. For example, assume that you’re a sales chief officer of a car dealer company in Iowa City and your major company strategy is to sell more SUVs to the locals because of the severe weather in this area. You realize that the growing populations of international students are willing to pay a higher price for a luxury car, which in result can boost your revenue. Then you switch all your manpower and focus from the locals to the international students. It may give you a nice figure in the sales report in short-term but it doesn’t match the company strategy because you don’t realize that you’re losing your original customer and it may leave you a bad reputation. As a sales chief officer, we need to connect our day-to-day responsibilities with the big picture.
Thirdly, I strongly agree with the idea that the sale chiefs should play an essential role as a company leader in strategic planning. And more importantly, it’s necessary for any company to build a strong collaboration between sales and marketing. While sales cares about how to make more money for the company, marketing pays attention to reinvesting this money into future profit. As we’re in the “golden age of marketing”, where customers can have both a positive or negative impact on