Applying Sales Process Engineering, Managing Opportunities

Achieving Success in Industrial Sales: Liberating Salespeople from Production Challenges

The Holy Grail of technical sales: how to disentangle salespeople from production Whenever we work in a technical-sales environment, this – bar none – is the most valuable idea we bring to the table. Here’s the most obvious symptom of the problem: When salespeople make a technical sale, they inevitably become entangled with production. Their […]

Measures and General Management, Slaying Sacred Cows

When higher conversion equals lower sales

I’ve discussed in the past that an assumption that underpins the design and management of most sales processes is that conversion (rate) is the primary driver of sales. The Sales Process Engineering method recognises this assumption as erroneous. In most all sales processes, opportunity flow (volume) is the primary driver, not conversion. It’s quite easy […]

Measures and General Management

Major cause of low sales

Here’s a question If we were to classify the potential causes of low sales into three categories: Market and offer mismatch (wrong market, wrong offer or both) Lack of appropriate channels for customer to hear about us (promotional channels) or to buy our products (sales channels) Sales management (managing the sales pipeline) Which do you […]

Slaying Sacred Cows

Is there such a thing as ‘customer profitability’?

[Note: the following post concludes with a challenge. I hope you’ll consider proposing a solution!] I can’t stand it anymore. If I hear one more (otherwise intelligent) person mention the concept of a ‘profitable customer’, I’m going to scream! The concept of a ‘profitable customer’ is as big a nonsense as that of a ‘profitable […]

Managing Opportunities

Baptism by fire: a sustainable competitive advantage or else!

I spent a couple of hours with a Sydney-based insolvency practitioner last week. He visited to request assistance with his marketing. (Yes it’s okay, Ballistix is still solvent!) Because this was my first meeting with a potential client I waited a full 10 minutes before challenging the viability of his business model. Fortunately, my guest’s […]

Slaying Sacred Cows

Why sales training can decrease conversion rates!

Question: What’s the primary driver of conversion rate? Answer: In most cases, it’s not sales skill! The primary driver is most often what we call Opportunity Cycle Time: the time it takes to close an opportunity. What that means is that, if you want to improve conversion rates, you should look for a way to […]

Managing Opportunities

Qualification: value adding or value destroying?

I’m always bemused by the exalted tone used by salespeople and management when discussing ‘qualification’. The presumption seems to be that this activity somehow adds tremendous value to the opportunity-management process. I suspect, in most cases, it does the opposite! From what I’ve observed, ‘qualification’ typically involves a salesperson making preliminary contact with a list […]