February 11th 2008

They just don’t make sales(guys/girls) like they used to.

Something in your eye?

They just don’t make sales(guys/girls) like they used to. Nobody does. This comment was made by a CEO I had coffee with last week. He went on to say that you have to be prepared to train your sales teams from the start, that you can not rely on finding “a really good salesperson” off the street. Since this is core to what Thomas Freese has to say about sales training these days ( You have to teach your teams all about how to sell, not just how to follow a process) I was very intrigued.

A little research shows that those great sales training schools of the past, Xerox ( SPS), IBM, Unisys, and so on have changed their model and are no longer the patient sales training factories that they used to be. Thinking more I could only identify in our BC market one (1) professionally trained ( by Apple in the early Mac days) solo corporate sales rep still practicing in our Western market.

So not only is sales tougher these days, you have to be prepared to continuously train, retrain and upgrade your sales teams selling skills. This makes the work of the very small company so much harder. So what do we see CEOs doing to adjust? Some do not know this truth and may be bewildered, many try the old – dial for dollars paradigm – with diminishing results and a few, a very few have found that being precise with the marketing story on all levels compensates for the low skill levels in the sales force candidates. Greater precision has the correct suspects putting up their hands, much further along the buying process than ever before. The skills sales people require are more sophisticated and advanced these days.

Success in the tech industry is hard to come by. It is unbelievingly difficult to build a superb product, on time and at a predictable cost and quality, that works all the time. Add the challenges of a still flaky workforce, fragmented/immature markets, and now a lack of experience in selling and any investor can see why the winners are few. This is why savvy technology companies are realizing the benefits of precision. A local chance to learn how to apply more precision will be in the upcoming March Product Launch Workshop. Check here for details

And that’s 30.

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2 Responses to: “They just don’t make sales(guys/girls) like they used to.”

  1. Interesting commentary Reg and how do you get this message, of not constantly calling, out to senior execs as even knowledgeable people in marketing still don’t get the fact that clients-to-be buy and are no longer sold. Todays savy businesses, seeking new vendors in the B2B, find their new vendor about 80% of the time.
    Why do we not have more closed loop buying processes so we can use the feed back from the sales team to constantly fine tune the marketing message?

    Chris Jordan said on 11 Feb 2008 at 10:03 am #

  2. Reg,

    Thomas comes from the 100% skill based school of selling. Search marketing, Pay Per Click Advertising and Virtual office environments, make the one to one sales opportunity that much more elusive.

    If there is anyone that can turn that in to an opportunity though … it would be Thomas …

    The Secrets of QBS, completely changed the way I looked at sales … he is one talented consultant.

    Edward Beckett said on 02 Mar 2008 at 7:15 pm #

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