Search This Blog

Google+ Followers

Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Sales Myths

Part of my MBA was to examine 'Corporate Paradigms'. During a tutorial weekend, 20 MBA students listed the myths, routines, rituals, symbols, control systems and power structures, of our current and previous employers. This included many Fortune 500 companies and several top ten companies. What amazed us was how much ritual, myth and routine there was.

  • Annual Budgeting Review,

  • Dress code,

  • Executive toilets and dining rooms,

  • Price rise month and special offer month,

  • Expenses review and approval.

(One of the MYTHS was a story of a VP of Sales who fired a sales executive 'in-the-lift' for wearing a multi-coloured shirt. This alleged "incident" took place in an elevator between the first and sixth floors. As I knew the VP personally, the "incident" NEVER happened but 320 salespeople in his group always wore white shirts!)

Then we compared these paradigms to recent highly successful start-ups with their absence of symbols, ritual and myth.

As a Sales Consultant, I constantly come up against Myths, Rituals and Routines. These either do not do anything (except waste time and energy) or sometimes are actually harmful.

  • Monday morning Sales Meetings,
  • ABC, Sales Pipelines and Forecasts,
  • Dress-down Friday,
  • I can work while I am travelling,
  • Unstructured Account Reviews and
  • Unplanned Coaching and learning on the job.
If you want an outsider's eye on your symbols, myths, rituals and routines
give a call.

Meanwhile cast an insider's eye yourself. Ask why?
Cancel a few of these routine meetings and see that the sky does not fall down!


  1. Oh yes, supersition still reigns. Even with rainmakers.

    I vote on canceling dress-up Monday through Thursday. ;-)

    And while I believe I know what you mean, God forbid that we stop learning on the job. I'm not a loud proponent of "informal learning" over formal training, but learning shouldn't be taking any holidays.

  2. Learning, formal or informal, is good.
    But I don't envy the informal learner in Sales today.