Sales in an Age of Complexity

Program Description

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Dealers everywhere struggle to win in a customer-driven, hyper-competitive landscape. Winning, when it happens, feels good. It would feel even better to win consistently.

Our goal is the development of sales leaders who can align the dealer’s brand, strategic vision and business plan with people, process, methods and technology; energize and develop their sales teams; and produce an attractive and sustainable return on investment in the sales operation. The program is based on data and insights gained from more than 60 years combined Solomon Coyle combined experience in research, consulting and education for high-performing dealerships across North America.


Program Organization and Delivery

The program is organized into three phases which are generally conducted within a 2-month time frame:

Phase 1. Front-End Webinars

Two instructor-led online sessions, 60 minutes each over a 3-week period. The sessions provide situational awareness in terms of dealer economics, core business processes, and the history of the industry’s financial performance.

Phase 2. Two-day On-Site Workshop

A blend of instruction, discussion, group exercises, and problem solving addressing the sales leadership and sales management roles, strategies for sales leadership, and tactics for sales management.

Phase 3. Back-End Webinars

Two instructor-led sessions, 60 minutes each over a 3-week period, addressing tools for sales management and critical implementation planning considerations.

Solomon Coyle’s professional meeting planner, Angela Rex, is available to consult with the program sponsor in identifying a workshop venue that will be conducive to focus and active participation.



The curriculum provides a brisk yet rich learning experience with six areas of concentration in which a sales leader must show competence, if not mastery, to produce repeatable success. These areas are revealed again and again in our operational and financial benchmarking and compensation research.

The learning sessions that make up these areas of concentration work independently, collectively and cumulatively to positively impact five key success factors for sales leadership:

• Strategic alignment
• Planning acumen
• Talent management
• Performance management
• People development

The significance of each area of concentration is outlined below. You can also view the impact matrix to see the program sessions by area of concentration and how major topics within the sessions contribute to the development of successful sales leaders.

The Landscape

Effective leaders show a high degree of awareness of the forces that shape their operating environment. It aids problem solving and decision making and allows leaders to identify and focus the deployment of resources well suited to the situation.

We begin the program by providing a large dose of situational awareness regarding the office furniture industry. Participants gain historical perspective, see quantitative evidence for the current state of the industry, and get a sense of potential developments. At the same time, they’re exposed to key indicators of industry performance so that maintaining situational awareness becomes something they can do on their own and teach others.

Our treatment of the dealer landscape then turns to the internal business environment as we explore dealer economics, examine pitfalls and predictors of profitability, and take a comprehensive look at the vital flow of information within the dealership.

Sales Leadership and Sales Management

The proper functioning of sales leadership and sales management and key distinctions between these two mindsets become clear as we look at the five drivers of business change and study the impacts of commoditization on the dealer’s business. Participants learn to recognize dysfunctions and disconnects that are symptomatic of failed leadership, failed management, or both. This exposure should help them begin to develop important insights about the best fit for the sales function within the ecosystem of their dealership.

Strategies for Sales Leadership

The strategy piece of the program is central to the development of sales leaders because their ability to think strategically and communicate strategy to the sales team and other members of the dealer staff must become second nature.

The participants are immersed in sales leadership strategies for much of the first workshop day as they learn how to define a successful sales culture for their own dealership, develop winning sales plans and strategies, and maximize sales effort while reducing the impact of complexity on the business. They are challenged to align brand communication and the customer experience with business strategy and acquire knowledge that will help them contribute vision and leadership in the selection and application of marketing technology.

Tactics for Sales Management

The second workshop day emphasizes the core competencies of effective sales management: process, methodology, talent development, compensation, performance management, and people development. Where the strategic piece of the program is about shaping the scope and nature of sales success, the tactical piece is about those things that must take place on a regular basis to make sales success repeatable and sustainable.

Tools for Sales Management

Tools and technology can’t fix bad process or poorly directed effort. What they can do is take sound strategy and tactics to the next level. That’s why we devote one of the two concluding webinars in the program to ways for leveraging CRM software and other tools of a data-driven mindset to gain sustainable sales success and make the effort affordable.

Putting the Pieces Into Place

Planning alone won’t deliver change or results. The ability to execute plans will. This lesson is driven home as we close out the learning experience by providing methods and guidance for implementing good sales planning, holding people accountable, and measuring effectiveness.


Meet the Instructor

PAUL HOLLAND is a compelling speaker, educator and coach with deep experience in the dealer, manufacturer and consulting arenas. A principal of Solomon Coyle, he focuses on sales performance, financial growth, strategic planning and leadership development. Paul brings to his work with dealers unique perspectives gained from more than 35 years of experience in the office furniture industry. He is Franklin Covey Certified and has completed advanced studies in Marketing, Business and Management.


Contact us to learn more and to set up a program date for your organization.