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Comments by Tony Hughes, CEO at Huthwaite International.


– The most successful businesses and business leaders can maintain a strong company performance in the present while also keeping one eye on the future – strategising based on their thoughts of where the business and wider industry is headed. How is this achieved?

As businesses grow, more profit means more funds in the reserves to reinvest in the business. However, growth is not without its challenges, and an increase revenue usually means a substantial increase in overheads, for example new staff or capital expenditure in the form of new equipment or machinery. This creates a cycle where a business constantly needs to find new ways to maintain its margins, often at scale, each and every year. Strategies need to come into play, so foresight and planning can deliver consistent improvements to the bottom line.


– Just because the business is relevant today, that doesn’t mean it will be in the future. How important are growth strategies and business development, and where does the sales function fit in to this?

Modern societal innovations have transformed the sales industry. And, as many are looking to technology and new sales approaches to adapt their business, a continued focus on quality customer service and added value is at risk of being overlooked.


The digital age arrived in tandem with globalisation. Globalisation saw a greater focus on cost reduction such as outsourcing and offshoring.  Has this led to a loss in quality and value for the customer? Many would argue yes. And it’s a key consideration for sales professionals. Whilst many feel the digital age must be accommodated and that’s certainly borne out by the increase in digital and social selling activity – there is also a growing need for a more focused and human strategy to selling.


– How can business leaders adapt how they sell in order to help them grow and maintain their market position in the future?

In the future, the most effective sales leaders will be defined by how they approach selling. Those employing an effective, systematic approach to sales will see greater business growth and increased client satisfaction than those without. Following a systematic approach to selling ensures total consistency across the board, with all teams operating under the same methodology. It also ensures all selling efforts can be measured consistently, using the same metrics.  And, adopting a sustainable approach founded on timeless principles – such as SPIN® Selling – rather than transient thinking, will ensure success regardless of any new industry trends or developments.


– Also, how much importance must be placed on a worker’s current performance, and what are the potential pitfalls that can occur if growth is rushed?

Sales people are the backbone of its industry. People buy from people. Regular sales training underpins this fact and allowing people to stay at the top of their trend is incredibly important. SPIN Selling allows that and proves that just like human behaviour, the SPIN methodology doesn’t date. When growing rapidly, training and maintaining this can fall by the wayside and this is detrimental to a business.



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Finance Derivative is a global financial and business analysis magazine, published by FM.Publishing. It is a yearly print and online magazine providing broad coverage and analysis of the financial industry, international business and the global economy.