Articles & publications

Here you'll find published articles written by or quoting us and a regular feature in which we look back at our archives to see how what we said 'then' relates to the 'now'. Please take a look around.

For specific guidance, please take a look at our Sales guides

Recent publications

Podcast interview May 2020

Anna was interviewed by Azzy Aslam of Comentra for his Changing Habits, Changing Lives podcast. The topic: how we can improve recruitment, onboarding and performance through behavioural profiling. Contains specific examples and tips.

Listen to the podcast


Institute of Directors October/November 2019

This edition's Ask the Execs panel is all about 'How do I sell a service that firms don't know they need?'

It's a common question amongst our clients and Anna's advice was awarded the main slot.

Anna is a member of the IOD Ask the Execs panel.

Winning Edge Issue 2 2019

Learning from experience: ISM Mentor scheme feature.

The Institute of Sales Management recently launched a pilot mentor scheme. Anna was delighted to support the ISM with advice on setting up the scheme and to be one its pilot mentors. In this feature, she and mentee Matt Baller share their experiences in conversation with the ISM's Head of Membership, Rachael Bourke.

Comms Business October 18

On the back of a panel discussion on 'Cracking the sales process end-to-end' this article, written by Alate Principal, Anna Britnor Guest on behalf of our delivery partner 5i, looks at the need for robust sales frameworks.

Read the full article

If these issues resonate with you, check out our practical Sales Guides

Institute of Directors October 18

An 'Ask the execs' panel response to a reader's question - how to sell new tech (in this case drones) to risk-averse clients. Anna is a member of the IOD Ask the execs panel.

Institute of Directors April 18

An 'Ask the execs' panel response to a reader's question - how to introduce team members into client accounts and reassure clients that quality won't suffer. Anna is a member of the IOD Ask the execs panel.

Winning Edge Issue 2 2018

The Institute of Sales Management's official publication cover story featured three long-standing ISM members and explored their sales careers and relationship with the ISM. Anna has been a Fellow and now a Companion / Champion of the ISM since 1998.

Read the full article

A look back at the archives

Our archive goes back to the late 1990s! In this occasional feature, we'll take a look at one of our old articles, publications or events to see what's still the same, what's changed and what wasn't even on our radar!

Could you be the greatest Infomatics 2002

Could you be the greatest?

What’s the difference between a good salesperson and a great one? Back in 2002, Anna Britnor Guest put together the recipe for exceptional performance for specialist IT sales publication, Infomatics. The foundations of what we now know as the ‘Challenger’ sale are there and the 7 most important skills for salespeople highlighted by contemporary research are still relevant. The nuances have perhaps changed and additional skills are now highly prized. Focus, tenacity and adaptability are all cited as important according to a 1997 study and we see these as even more key today.

What this tells us is that the last 16 years have been a consolidation, evolution and reinforcement of these trends. Plus ca change, perhaps?

DIY sales development Infomatics 2001

DIY Sales development

You know how to manage your accounts, territory and pipeline.  But how are you managing tour own learning and development?

In this April 2002 article from Infomatics, Anna gave hands-on advice for managing sales development in a environment in which 'the pace of business life, flatter management structures and greater employee empowerment [had] resulted in a more frenetic and reactive working environment'.

What strikes us now is that this is more important, and access to information is easier, than ever. Smart companies support individual learning paths and provide robust training and development. Others lag behind, believing that if you hire experienced sales people they don't need developing. If ever that was less true...

Sales from the archives

Customer comeback

So you think you know what your customers are really thinking? Anna Britnor Guest asks IT managers to spill the beans on the salespeople that make them smile - and seethe!

From February 2000, another Infomatics feature. So, how's it stood the test of time? As one IT manager stressed at the time 'The seller has to understand what's driving me and my business - it has to be totally relevant and timing is more crucial than ever!' Plus ca change... but what this article pre-dates is the huge expansion in the number of cross-function stakeholders involved in most complex IT sales these days. Take a read and see what else you think has changed.

a coach, a mentor, a what

A coach, a mentor, a what?

What are coaches and mentors, where you get them and why do you want them? Success Now magazine July 1999

20 years ago, this was Anna's first paid article on coaching and mentoring - and has been referenced in many websites, articles and academic and practitioner bibliographies!

At the time there was much jostling of definitions and both coaching and mentoring were booming. Today, both are much more settled into leadership and management styles, professional development paths and this article covers many of the ways we see coaching and mentoring used today.

You the sales coach article

You the Sales Coach

Sales managers who learn how to coach and develop their staff are likely to score higher on both staff morale and results, says Anna Britnor Guest. Here's how to get started...

In December 2001, Anna wrote a feature for Infomatics offering practical advice for sales managers to coach their team members.

Coaching was a buzzword of the late 90s and early 00s but how far have we come and what's changed?

Despite now being accepted as mainstream management practice, the skill sets are not as widely embedded as they might be and many leaders still find coaching challenging.

Coaching is a mindset as much as a skill set and a key element of any leader's approach to building high performance teams.

Example image

The personal touch

More and more companies are employing professional coaches to improve performance of individuals with the sales team. Anna Britnor Guest explains why.

From March 1999, this time we take a look back at an article published by the Institute of Sales Management (then the Institute of Sales & Marketing Management).

Exploring sales coaching - and the manager as coach - we explained some of the benefits: "...coaching can be a powerful tool in implementing change, increasing motivation...and addressing individual performance issues, thereby harnessing the potential for success."

What's changed since? Coaching and training are much more interwoven today with more group and individual coaching to support skills development. It's more embedded for many companies. Today, coaching is not an option, managers have to have the time and skills to coach - but it's still not as universal as it should be.

Example image

Coaching & mentoring conferences

In 1999, Anna co-founded The Coaching & Mentoring Network which became the largest independent information resource for coaching and mentoring. She and her business partner were regular speakers at UK and European coaching & mentoring conferences, along with some of the big names in the field. Here's a selection:

Linkage Coaching & Mentoring Conference Europe, 2001: e-Support: A technology approach to programme implementation.

7th European Mentoring Conference, 2000: Making the match: Strategies for Success

9th European Mentoring Conference, 2002: Assuring Competence in organisation-wide coaching & mentoring programmes. We also sponsored the conference by providing an online discussion forum to continue conversations post-conference.

Looking back, we were well ahead of the curve in terms of using technology to support coaching and mentoring programmes and the wider community