The Importance of Aligning Strategy and Sales

Every year, U.S. companies spend more than $900 billion on their sales forces, but typically see only 50 to 60 percent of the financial performance they’re promised. The problem, Harvard Business School Professor Frank Cespedes says, is the “disconnect between selling behaviors and strategy. In his book Aligning Strategy and Sales, Cespedes discusses why bringing […]

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How to Shrink the Gap between Sales and Strategy—An Interview with Frank Cespedes

For a business to grow, it must have a strategy and that strategy must be aligned with sales. The problem is often companies don’t have a strategy, or if they do, there’s a gap between that strategy and what their sales teams are doing. “Research shows relatively few companies successfully execute their strategies. And on […]

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Sales Still Matters More than Social Media

It’s become commonplace for observers to tout the transformative potential of digital technologies and bemoan the allegedly slow pace at which companies support these initiatives. Two recent blogs published by HBR.org are representative and, I believe, wrong. Walter Frick, an HBR editor, contrasts the enthusiasm of executives for spending money on digital initiatives versus their […]

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A Lesson in Execution: Why Your Strategy is Failing

Teamwork. Whether in meetings or retreats, there’s no doubt you’ve heard these words repeatedly preached by senior executives. However, few firms actually focus on alignment where it counts most: linking big-picture strategy with the nitty-gritty of customer acquisition and retention in sales efforts. Poor alignment of sales and strategy incurs both direct and opportunity costs, […]

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Breaking Through a Growth Stall

This post originally appeared on HBS Working Knowledge. Many companies get stuck on a plateau, unable to grow and burning through cash at a frightening rate. Frank V. Cespedes discusses how focusing on the right customers can generate growth again. Starting a successful business is often considered the hardest thing entrepreneurs do—but growing an existing […]

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