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Rethinking Sales Management: A Strategic Guide for Practitioners [Kindle Edition]

Beth Rogers
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Until recently, sales managers received no specific training for their jobs. However, selling has become more complex with the emergence of regulations and more sophisticated customers. Sales managers need to inspire and achieve sales results by managing teams of professionals and other resources. To do so, they need guidance on dealing with issues that arise in these broader aspects of their role.

This concise guide for sales managers is based on a well-known sales management technique called the ‘customer portfolio matrix’. Beth Rogers weaves her version of this throughout, enabling sales managers to see their strategy from the customer’s point of view. Doing so will allow them to set realistic objectives, design new strategies that add real customer value, avoid wasting time on price-oriented customers and deploy resources for maximum results.

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Editorial Reviews


“…a serious, grown-up book on sales, full of relevant theory and practical examples of how sales can be more strategic and effective.” (The Marketer, September 2007)

"an excellent, concise and well-written guide, full of examples and references, based on the author’s deep and sustained experience". (B2B Marketing Online, Friday 7th September 2007)

"…helps sales teams become more successful by seeing the deal from the customer’s view." (The Daily Telegraph, Tuesday 25th September 2007)

"Rogers uses copious box-outs and diagrams, and sources virtually all the latest evidence on business selling from around the world."  (Salesforce, January 2008)

"...Rogers uses copious box-outs and diagrams and, as befits an academic, sources virtually all the latest evidence" (Winning Edge, December 2008)

From the Back Cover

Extracted from Introduction and Foreword:

“There’s only a handful of strategic books to help sales managers cope with the complexity of today’s sales challenges.  This is one of them.” 

“You’ll find your eye skimming over facts and figures; you’ll see charts and diagrams; you’ll find strategic models.  That’s the kind of book we need.  Thank you, Beth Rogers, for writing it.”

Neil Rackham

From his foreword to “Rethinking sales management”.

It is hard to imagine anything more fundamental to the economy than selling.  It is about time that salespeople and sales managers had equal esteem with other professionals.  Despite many years of marketers trying to sideline the sales function as operational, tactical and in decline, in fact the sales profession is thriving in terms of quantity and quality. Nevertheless, sales has been the Cinderella of the management world for a long time. Yet what could be a more worthy topic of discussion than the way in which a company makes its revenue?

Many businesspeople say to me that the strategic management of supplier/customer relationships is “the next big thing” that companies needs to address.  In studies going back many years, chief executives have recognized that the sales managers’ responsibility for handling the customer interface can be the most important thing in generating company success. With inspired leadership and the right application of skills and systems, strategic relationship development can deliver competitive advantage.  Companies are starting to realize that they cannot manage customers or even key accounts because the power of customers gives them the means to “manage” back.  So where do they go?

They go back to the drawing board and take a good hard look at ”the art of the possible”.  Supplier strategy cannot drive customers, but there are pathways for mutual gain. The greatest advocates for strategic sales management companies who are designing those pathways are their customers. Whether they long for low-touch, remote and transactional relationships with particular suppliers for particular goods and services, or whether they want joint venture with others, customers appreciate the suppliers who understand their needs and develop the capabilities to meet them.

This book is a summary of “state-of-the-art” strategic sales management thinking, designed for practitioners who recognize that a bit of knowing can accelerate the success of a lot of doing. It is based on extensive consultation with sales management professionals, employers, sales management experts and professional institutions. It is short and succinct because sales managers are busy people with limited time to read. But sales managers travel a lot too, so consider this knowledge a travelling companion you can dip into when your plane is delayed or the freeway is gridlocked.

Beth Rogers


  1. Publisher’s comments

This book is a new and innovative addition to our sales collection.  As with any innovation, we thought hard about taking it on, and subjected it to rigorous independent review.  We decided that it was an exciting opportunity. Few authors in the world have the breadth of experience of the sales management function as Beth Rogers, who has been immersed in it as a practitioner, a consultant, a trainer, teacher, researcher and writer; and held high office in both a professional institution for sales and a public governing body for sales.  Not only is she respected in the sales profession, but purchasing professionals also consult her. Her approach is unique.  The content is informative, interesting, thought-provoking and useful. It is enhanced with examples from the research of many of the world’s experts on sales, best practice companies and organizations from around the world.

  1. Author comments

You can miss out on a lot when you write a book in your spare time.  You miss out on social events, football matches and TV.  The house and garden become untidy.  And it takes a long time.  I took a very long time to work out what I could do that would be different from the other worthy books on sales management.  I am very grateful to the reviewers and colleagues who facilitated that process.

What do I think is different about it?  I unashamedly focus on sales management as a STRATEGIC FUNCTION, in defiance of the received wisdom of some marketing academics who assert that it is operational.  I’ve done marketing too, and without sales involvement in strategy formulation, it won’t go very far. I also take on the topics that many sales books avoid – dealing with customers who don’t have the same view of the business relationship as you do, ending business relationships, and tackling ethics, leadership, processes and working with marketing.  Risky perhaps, but now that it is done I look forward to feedback from readers….and the odd night out, of course.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1183 KB
  • Print Length: 315 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0470513055
  • Publisher: Wiley; 1 edition (February 15, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004OR1AKY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #981,726 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
This isn't your run-of-the-mill sales management book and certainly not for a first time sales-manager or a front-line manager. This book is an extraordinary leadership book on how sales management needs to be integrated into the entire structure of an organization - something done only at the 'C' level of an enterprise. This is an excellent book, unique and much needed. Lauded by Neil Rackham himself this is a must read for every leader of a company that has a sales force.

"Rethinking Sales Management" takes Porter's material on strategy and applies it to sales management. It uses science, current best practices, and a vast amount of empirical data to inform management on what a sales force must look like and perform in today's complex marketplace.

"It sometimes seems that Chief Executive Officers and their strategy formulation teams assume that the company can drive itself anywhere, regardless of economic cycles, the activity of competition or customer behavior." This is but one of many astute observations the book makes, along with the corrective actions that must be taken in order for a sales force to be effective.

"Rethinking Sales Management" is organized in 3 parts:
Part I is about business strategy
Part II is about those different categories of business relationships and sales models.
Part III looks at some of the new skills you as a sales manager require to respond to the 21st-century world of strategic selling.

"Rethinking Sales Management" is especially useful for key account management. Ms. Rogers ties together many other books on the subject, from "Getting Partnering Right" to "Key Account Management.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Changed customer behavior and increased negotiation power of the customer induced by technology together with the tough economic conditions create the conditions for a perfect storm that hardly can be weathered by sales management with tried and trusted old tactics.

The book "Rethinking Sales Management" by Beth Rogers is,as the subtitle suggests, "a practical guide for practitioners" how to become more strategic to cope with the challenges of these new normal times.

Beth Rogers has extensive practical experience in marketing and sales roles which she has complemented by in-depth consultancy, research and teaching. Her book therefore stands out from most sales and sales management books. Her advise is not of the type "here is how I was successful and I do not see why this should not work for you". Instead, she provides the readers with strategic models and facts helping them to understand the 'Why' of a situation and then deduct the best course of action suited to context they are in.

In the era of customer orientation, Rogers argues, CSOs should have a seat at the strategy table of their enterprises. The first part of the book is an introduction into strategy; enabling CSOs to get familiar with the language talked there . The first chapter introduces well known strategic concepts like the business portfolio matrix (BCG matrix) used to categorize strategies from a enterprise point of view. (inside -out)
In the second chapter, the focus is on the purchaser's perspective of strategy (outside- in). Rogers suggest the purchaser's portfolio matrix as the vehicle to analyze this point of view. This concept is probably less known among C-level executives. Understanding it gives the CSO the opportunity to bring added value to the strategy discussion.
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More About the Author

My early career in a large IT company may have reduced my "interesting" quotient, but here are a few quirky things that mark me out as an author of sales books:
I am probably the only one who got a deportment girdle at school. No, this was not anything at all sexy (although some of the rest of the uniform might have qualified). It was a red sash, tied round the waist, which was regarded as a reward for good posture and tidiness. The headmistress should see me at my desk now.....
I am probably the only one who supports Wycombe Wanderers Football Club. When I was a kid, we were amateurs in a very humble league that we kept winning. Now, we are professionals and we keep trying to claw our way up the divisions with mixed results, which is not quite so much fun for spectators.
I am probably the only one who likes Dark-bellied Brent Geese, Cheesy Chips (also known as Fries)and dahlias.
Now here's the serious stuff:
I have many years experience in the IT industry and consultancy;
I enjoy teaching sales managers on postgraduate degrees and short courses, and young undergraduates on sales options;
I am currently mentoring some consultants researching successful sales behaviours and working with a top operations management academic on applying "fuzzy logic" to sales resource issues;
The thing that gives me the most buzz about writing is when readers say my books are readable - even better if they also enjoy the read!


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