Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Sales Revolution Built On Hope? Careful what you wish for...

The game is changing; but it always has been.  
The way businesses align purchasing is shifting; but it always has been.
New marketing platforms are emerging; but always have been.
Sales is evolving; but always has been.
There is talk of a selling rebellion; but there always has been.

There's chatter about the new selling, the new way businesses are buying and how the sales professionals of today had better change our ways. We've got to multiply our efforts ten fold, continue to cold call and embrace social media.

Today, "Kings", "Cowboys" and "Warriors" populate our little niche and we've got professionals "saving the industry one copier at a time". Worthy, noble and authentic efforts - I'm all for self-branding and rebellion.  I question the focus of our current emotional revolt.

Words mean things -

Revolt: refuse to acknowledge someone or something as having authority
Revolution: a forcible overthrow of a government or social order, in favor of a new system

So yes, we as a profession, are in the mood for revolt and revolution. It's understood the selling representatives are the Rebels but who are we 'rebelling' against? Who are the bad guys?

Are we taking on the old-school mentality? Assaulting old techniques is one thing, but these are outdated tools, not the root of evil.

Maybe we're rebelling against our prospects and customers - not the brightest idea.

Conducting a revolution against other sales people is self-destructive and most likely a strategy our nemesis relies upon. From the outside, it must look like we're a bunch of self-loathing, never good enough yahoo's running around spewing "transformation, this" and "the new way of that...".

To summarize:
  • Revolting against prospects and clients is not the way.
  • We are not our greatest enemy, we will not self-destruct.
  • The "Evil Empire" is not the past.
Again, who is the enemy?

I know who. If you're a sales trainer, you're not going to like it.  If you're a sales manager, you're not going to like it.  If you're selling anything through a tiered channel, you are not going to like it.  Heck, I don't even like it.

The target of our revolution are those who inflict quotas, false ideals and untrustworthy sales techniques: OEMs, Mega dealers, and vendors of the day are the enemy.
I have moved from certainty to doubt, from devotion to rebellion. 
- Phil Donahue
I am the last one to call for unionization - unions kill - but an organized resistance is the only alternative.  I'm talking about a guild of selling professionals - similar to the Screen Actor's Guild.

So who is in a position to organize contemporary selling professionals?  I have no idea but a great start would be for sales people to think differently:

start selling for yourself
form your own brand
invest in yourself

CAUTION: Rebellions require blood.  The cost of freedom is never free and all revolutions, have casualties.  Who, in this cause, will give all?  Who will create change through sacrifice?

  • Will any of the new sales trainers step up to form The Guild or continue taking money from the establishment?
  • Will mega-dealers change the way reps are paid or continue to support an archaic standard?
  • Will OEMs get rid of their tiered approach?
  • And who in their right mind would join such a movement, let alone LEAD against these most formidable foes?
I don't have the answer to that question.  I can say finding a leader within the Empire(OEM,Trainers, MegaDealers) is at best dubious.  Perhaps an older, wiser Rebel will make their way center stage.

Caution: As a metaphor, in the movie Rogue One, can you recall how many of the small rebel team survived?


Sales Revolution?  What Revolution?

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