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Selling Through Someone Else: How to Use Agile Sales Networks and Partners to Sell More

ISBN: 978-1-118-49638-1
376 pages
January 2013
Selling Through Someone Else: How to Use Agile Sales Networks and Partners to Sell More (1118496388) cover image


Experience the growth multiplier effect through transforming the distribution and sales network

Selling Through Someone Else tackles new opportunities to drive company growth by taking a fresh look at the customer smart distribution and sales process. The authors, from Accenture, one of the world's largest consulting companies, explain how companies can be smarter about what their customers truly want and maximize the return on investment from all available resources for growth opportunities by exploring creative distribution options, including leveraging partners, online outlets, iPads/tablets, your traditional sales force, and more.

Selling Through Someone Else demonstrates that traditional approaches are no longer effective and how, by capitalizing on converging forces, companies can transform their "sales" approaches to grow revenue, and enhance customer and brand loyalty.

  • Explores how globalization, new competitors, and low-cost threats are reshaping the way sales is happening today, and how to prepare your company to be successful in this new dynamic and iterative selling model
  • Shows how analytics, the shift to digital selling and mobile sales tools, and new approaches to sales operations can reshape the entire sales function
  • Demonstrates how new ecosystems of partners are created, managed, and incented to drive greater sales and profitability

Accenture has helped numerous clients collaborate across IT, Sales, and Marketing to dramatically grow distribution and adapt to the different "playing field" of today. Selling through Someone Else applies the trends and lessons learned from Fortune 500 and Global 500 companies to mid-sized enterprises and small-medium businesses owners.

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Table of Contents

Preface vi


1 Why It's Time to Change Selling: Your Sales Model Is Broken 3
Robert Wollan

2 The Solution—Agile Selling: Growth Can Come from Investing in Your "Selling Force," Not Just Your "Sales Force" 20
Robert Wollan

3 The Agile Sales and Distribution Ecosystem 38
Mike Heald and Paul Neumann

4 Time for a Refresh: The Updated Sales Strategy 51
Naveen Jain and Varun Ratta

5 Looking for Channel-Selling Innovation? Four Industries That Stand Out 67
Robert Wollan, Anne O’Riordan, Jean-Laurent Poitou, Fabio Vacirca, and John L. DelSanto


6 Advanced Strategies for Customer Targeting and Lead Generation 95
Lan Guan and Golnar Pooya

7 A Renewed Focus on the Differentiated Customer Buying Experience 109
Ron Ref and Ami Palan

8 Price Strategies in a MultichannelWorld 128
Tom Jacobson, Cecilia Nguyen, Tiffany Gilbert, and Julian Short

9 Bringing Science to Selling 152
Jan Van der Linden

10 Incentives ThatDrive Performance:Motivating the Right Behaviors with the Right Sales and Marketing Incentives to Optimize ROI 178
Jason Angelos and Gary Singer


11 Joint Initiatives: A Step Change for Sales Collaboration 203
Mike Heald, Paul Neumann, and Golnar Pooya

12 A New Look at an Old Problem: Selling to Small- and Medium-Size Businesses 217
Ron Ref and Lan Guan

13 Using Social Media to Engage Buyers, Empower Sellers, and Reinvent the Sales Process 234
Kari Kaario and Jason Breed

14 Around the Block or Around the World: How to Enter New, GlobalMarkets 262
Christian Requena, Golnar Pooya, Grant Hatch, Pieter Becker, and Tomas Kandl


15 The CIO Sales Agenda: How to Build an Advanced Sales and Distribution IT Infrastructure 283
Robert Wollan, Paul Daugherty, and Saj Usman

16 Tablets,Smartphones, and Apps:The Importance of aClear, Standardized Mobility Strategy 296
Yusuf Tayob, Terri Rinella, and Aidan Quilligan

17 New Rules for Tools and IT Infrastructure: The Cloud and Agile Tools, Processes, and Systems 314
Saideep Raj and Beth Boettcher


18 Profiling and Shaping a High-Performance Sales Force 337
David Smith, Victoria Luby, PhD, and Patrick Mosher

Notes 357

Index 365

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Author Information

ROBERT WOLLAN is the Global Managing Director of Accenture's Management Consulting Customer Relationship Management practice. He leads a global team of professionals skilled in customer-centric marketing, sales, service, and customer operations, and drives major growth areas across the industries Accenture serves globally. Robert holds seven patents for innovations in customer relationship management. He coauthored The Social Media Management Handbook, a practical guide to implementing key social media strategies and achieving business goals.

NAVEEN JAINIS the Managing Director of Accenture's Management Consulting – CRM Sales Transformation practice. His teams help increase sales organization productivity and effectiveness and provide strategic insights, func??tional expertise, and global implementation skills to help clients maximize profitability by transforming customer relationships across all of the industries Accenture serves globally.

MICHAEL HEALD is the Managing Director of Accenture's Communications, Media, and Technology Sector, Management Consulting West practice. His teams focus on the unique and dynamic needs of communications, media, and technology companies, including how to deliver greater results from sales forces and sales channel partners. Formerly holding executive positions in the industry, he brings personal experience in both change and operations.

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Press Release

February 22, 2013
Authors Identify New Sales Model to Help Drive Profitable Revenue Growth

Selling Through Someone Else: How to Use Agile Sales Networks and Partners to Sell More by Robert Wollan, Naveen Jain and Michael Heald, managing directors in the Accenture Sales & Customer Services practice reveal how changes to sales strategies and execution models can help sustain profitable growth amid an increasingly complex and fast-evolving selling environment.  

The book explains the potential benefits of agile selling, a new model based on the strategy of “selling through someone else,” that encourages companies to use a broader mix of intermediaries, channel partners and customers to extend their reach and growth.  Agile selling is the model of choice among leaders in industries that have some of the most complex distribution channels, such as consumer goods manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, insurance and electronics and high-tech. The approach offers lessons that can be easily and quickly replicated across other industries.

“Without a doubt, globalization, new competitors and low-cost threats have disrupted the sales process,” said Robert Wollan, co-author and global managing director of Accenture’s Sales & Customer Services practice.  “As a result, traditional approaches to sales are becoming less effective and less reliable for many.  To be successful, sellers must be agile to navigate this increasingly complex environment and they can benefit from creating unique experiences that influence customers in a more complex and competitive setting.”

Selling Through Someone Else informs the entire C-suite, not just the Chief Sales Officer, about how to develop and scale this more agile approach.  It addresses how the CIO can work together with peers in sales and operations, as well as the implications for the Chief Talent Officer.  The book presents trends and lessons learned from the authors’ work with a range of companies, from Fortune 500 and Global 500 businesses to small-medium businesses owners.  It identifies how analytics, the adoption of digital selling and mobile sales tools and greater collaboration with channel partners and customers can reshape a company’s sales function and help it reach its financial and strategic objectives.

“This book differs from most selling theory or methodology books that tend to either help the individual salesperson or the sales manager,” said Wollan.  “It is based on Accenture’s vast collective experience working with companies all over the world to dramatically transform their selling models.  Selling Through Someone Else discusses the specific experiences of leading companies that have transformed the way they sell and the way they support their selling ecosystem.”

The book also includes guidance from numerous Accenture professionals with deep knowledge and experience in underlying capabilities that support the agile selling model, including:

  • Mastering core capabilities such as lead generation, incentives and pricing and analytics that leaders use to bring agile selling to life;
  • Building a better sales network that extends far outside the walls of the organization (and your employees) and capitalizes on new market opportunities;
  • A fresh look at motivating a sales force and what the “right” behaviors and the “right” incentives really are;
  • Building an advanced sales and distribution IT infrastructure to support a sales force; and
  • Creating the infrastructure to sustain the relationships with customers, channel partners and other entities that are critical to agile selling.


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