Tuesday, February 19, 2019

The #SalesRevolutionRebellion Is a Farce

The fake "sales revolution" attacks symptoms, not the cause.




"Lannister, Targaryen, Baratheon, Stark, Tyrell. They're all just spokes on a wheel. This one's on top, then that one's on top. And on and on it spins, crushing those on the ground."

Rebels and Revolutions - 



When individuals declare independence from tyranny, they put their lives, and the lives of their families on the line, risking everything for revolution, for future generations' independence.

For freedom.

Today, there's talk of a "Sales Revolution". Insurgents take to the nearest pulpit espousing "changing the way sales is done..." by being open, real, authentic, a trusted advisor, partnering to solve client problems - not a con-man.  Noble efforts.

For them, its not nine to five; it's always to always, elevator pitches, value propositions and increasing effort 10 fold.

There are literally THOUSANDS of sales coaches and trainers in the world today.

Here are a few of folks I respect and follow. Some are calling for sales a "revolution".  A few pitch themselves as 'rebels', "Leading the Sales Revolution":

All are passionate and committed to their speciality contributing great content to the realm.

But -

EVERY SINGLE PIECE OF SELLING ADVICE IS MISSING THE POINT.

I'm not recommending the current sales training and consulting efforts are not valid.  I'm just saying there is so much more that can be done to 'save the industry'.

Of Smoke and Ice -

"Speeds, Feeds, Quota's, Commissions, Solutions. They're all just spokes on a wheel. This one's on top, then that one's on top. And on and on it spins, crushing those on the ground."



The sales revolution is an insidiousness movement because it is based on truth. Bad sales skills, low motivation, poor relationship building, aggressive attitudes, boring pitches, tedious corporate introductions, unoriginal talk-tracks, are real, yet each a  SYMPTOM of the sickness, not the cause -  - indeed, going to war against "bad selling practices" amounts to self-hate.

We're revolting against the wrong enemy.

The Real Monster -

"Xerox, Canon, Ricoh, HP, Lexmark. They're all just spokes on a wheel. This one's on top, then that one's on top. And on and on it spins, crushing those on the ground."


The idea simple, the mission tragic - manufacturers' selling models must be taken down, defeated.  While we fight among ourselves over who can save selling, the real archenemy plods forward, assimilating more and more into its ranks.

Break The Wheel

WE DON'T NEED A SALES TRAINING REVOLUTION, WE NEED A REVOLUTION AGAINST THE ESTABLISHMENT.

It's the OEMs who push equipment quotas down the channel, and not just copier OEMs - every manufacturer has the same, Materials Resource Planning (MRP) based systems.

The model utilizes the following:

  • MRP based quotas
  • "Fear Uncertainty and Doubt"
  • Purposely confusing and ever shifting, commission plans
  • "Kill it and Grill it" mentality
  • Adversarial Selling construct 
  • "Where there is mystery, there is margin"
  • "67% of sales people do not reach quota"
  • Features and benefits training
  • Solution Selling
  • Sales Techniques...
A real Revolution(with a capital R) doesn't attack the symptoms, it takes on the creators of the Wheel. The hierarchies are organically crumbling, digitally transforming - gravity is drawing the towers down, but they fight.

As long as we continue to harp on old fashioned ideas, as long as we concentrate on "new", non-standard training topics, we keep the chaos going - and that's just fine with the zombie kings. The dusted off,  selling retreads are like 'opiates for the masses' keeping the "little people" hypnotized in their insecurities.

Do you want to lead a true revolution?  Then revolt against:

  • Stodgy commission structures
  • Outdated quota schemes
  • Product based, solution selling
  • OEM dogma
Are you a self-proclaimed leader of the revolution?  Then:

  • Produce video's telling the establishment to stop pushing old fashioned ideas and programs.
  • Write articles outlining the challenges of terrible infrastructure and processes.
  • Establish standard, salary influencing, sales training certifications.
Embark the battle between independent selling professionals and corporate structures - it is time.

Unfortunately,  this two dimensional skirmish is nothing compared to what's coming.  The next titan of turbulence holds enough power to wash away 50% of the sales universe.






Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Conversations with Your Prospects: Is Your #MPS #Sales Approach Missing the Mark?


My name is Greg Walters and I’ve worked in the technology sector since 1988. I've sold and configured and installed networks, accounting software, servers, PCs, laptops, manufacturing systems, corporate identity programs, copiers, EDM, BPO, Scan/Fax/Print, managed print and IT services.

Since 2007, I’ve helped providers build managed print practices, more importantly, I’ve assisted corporations (your prospects) design, build and implement self-managed MPS programs. I’ve been shoulder to shoulder with my clients (your prospects), in Canon, Ricoh, Lexmark, HP, Staples, Xerox and dealer MPS presentations. I’ve seen the best manufacturers have to offer and helped my clients choose the right partner. I’ve also been privy to the conversations and critiques from clients after each vendor presentation – I’ve heard some pretty enlightening things.

Whatever category the dealership falls into – copier, MPS, Managed IT—and whether the job title reads account representative or Vice President of Sales, these mistakes were made by the most seasoned MPS representatives.

Read the rest, here.

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

New to Copier Sales: You're Not the Boss of Me


Over the years, I have worked with dozens of sales managers. Unfortunately, I can only count two who possessed a skillset above and beyond that of a typical manager. The terrible managers shared a plethora of common traits — boorish, disengaged, privileged, etc. But the best managers also shared characteristics and habits:

They didn’t perform the salesperson’s job — like filling out paperwork — when it would have been more expedient to do so.

They knew how to play office politics to the benefit of the sales department while supporting company goals.

Although they possessed selling skills, they were not selling managers.

They didn’t use foul language and bully people into submission.

At the very top of the heap, the best managers will remove obstacles to your personal success. This is key. A great sales manager limits nonselling activities like vendor training, administration meetings, sales meetings and irrelevant paperwork. Additionally, a good sales manager keeps your service manager on top of installs, handles accounts receivable issues and works for you when commissions are calculated.

Read the rest, here.

Monday, February 4, 2019

Why did #WashingtonPost Choose Oklahoma Bombing Over 9/11 Towers?


"The Washington Post's moving Super Bowl ad uses the power of Tom Hanks' voice to defend journalism..."
-Marcus Gilmer, Mashable, February 3, 2019

How bad has it become when the press runs an advertisement promoting and defending...the press?

Pretty bad.

Worse, the self-serving Washington Post missive displays why the Fourth Estate is alienating audiences and losing relevancy.

The minute-long piece begins with a vision of D-Day, scrolling from the Moon to a state funeral and into "When our nation is threatened..."  This is where I stopped paying attention, contemplating the image used to portray "...our nation is threatened...".  Something didn't sit right.  I recognized the site instantly, yet felt those around me would be challenged to remember the historical value.


While Tom Hanks delivers, "When our nation is threatened..." a shot of the 1995 Oklahoma Bombing fades in.

The bombing was a domestically motivated attack on a US government building, carried out by a madman who was caught, tried and executed.

Why use a 1995 incident to depict our nation under threat?

How many viewers recognize this vision?

1995.

Can you think of an image, in this century, that conveys the clear message of "our nation is threatened"? Be assured, the Washington Post engaged a team of highly paid, publicity EXPERTS.  They chose every shot, each word, background audio, musical pace and voice attenuation for a reason - a specific emotional appeal.

Why choose a domestically charged event, 24 years in the past?  Are there no other images that might convey a more poignant message?

Why yes. Yes there are...


A reasonable person would ask, "Why would the Washington Post choose not to use a 9/11 image at this point of the commercial?" Surely, the option was reviewed and rejected.

This is not nuance.

This not an accident.

Perhaps it is simply a reflection of a tone deaf effort - or the output of a nefarious cabal.  There are two ways our nation comes under threat: from the outside and from within.  The Washington Post chose internal danger over external threats, and this is most illuminating.

Does the US media consider internal, domestic challenges greater than global threats?

Or is the media purposefully ignoring external dangers in order to forward an agenda of domestic fear? Perhaps to perpetuate the belief that all the ills in the world are because of the US.

The US public has grown tired to the arrogant, media-state and supporting political players.  It must be striking a chord somewhere in those ivory towers - or else there wouldn't be so many lectures masquerading as commercials this year.

"Knowing empowers us..."