The Reinvention of Sales

It is a belief still held by many in management that creation of value is the job of product development only. What comes after – namely marketing and sales – is seen as a vehicle to liquidate or “cash in on” the value previously created. This piece of yesterday’s truth is a source of much misunderstanding and frustration in today’s market realities.

“A good idea without implementation is not a good idea.” -Porsche Consulting

I read this quote years ago and it stuck with me. Most people come up with at least one or two great ideas in their lifetime but most of us fail to ever act upon any of them – and so they turn to hollow promises and end up worthless. That’s the opposite of what I feel business is all about: To deliver on the promise of your idea.

Keeping this in mind, here’s a truth about today’s economy:

A good product with bad sales and marketing is not a good product.

If you fail to deliver value to people in a way that suits them, you fail to deliver, period. I recently wrote an article about how BMW fails its promise of innovation by hanging on to old truths about sales – and there are many more examples out there:

  • Recruiting/freelance agencies that promise to make your workforce more flexible – and force you to enter into static, pre-tailored service models.
  • Web services and platforms that allow you to use an “on demand” toolchain – and demand you buy a three-tiered subscription package that will run for 6 – 12 months.
  • Consulting agencies and coaches that will make your organisation “Agile” – by means of their favourite static framework which is to be implemented in a rigorous 3 – 6 month tour de force.

Annoying, right? But what really baffles me about providers like this is: They create innovative services (or at least claim to do so) and sell them like the problems they want to solve don’t exist in this context!

  • Flexible workforce solutions? Sure thing, we’ll personally walk you through our print brochure and read out loud what modules we have decided you can choose from.
  • On-demand toolchains? Absolutely, just commit to using this package for the next 12 months!
  • “Being agile?” You bet! We’ll push the pull principle down your throat; the resulting soreness is just organisational growing pains.

This is not how you create value for customers – and it’s why we have to stop treating sales and marketing like mere addendums to value creation when they are very much part of it. This of course means that we need to question the functions of marketing departments and salespeople – and free ourselves from the truths of yesterday.

So in the true spirit of putting your money where your mouth is, let me offer you the second part of this article as a TL;DR in the form of an infographic – enjoy!



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