Search This Blog

Google+ Followers

Saturday, 10 December 2011

How to Change the way your Company Sells


The way Buyers “Buy” Products and the Markets that they buy from,
as we know changes, thus the WAY We Sell MUST also change!


The way a Company actually sells,
and they way individual Salespeople are selling,
is a function of the presence, or absence, of these Four Forces and their relative strengths.

Pragmatic Change is, without any doubt the most successful Sales Change,

but it needs the Conservative ‘restraint’ to prevent it running off-the-rails.

In my MBA Dissertation (1999) I identified FOUR Forces which cause Selling to “Change”,
i.e. from the Orthodox Approach or "Traditional" to the "New" or Unorthodox Approach

Four forces which cause the Sales Approach to Change:

primarily a “fall” in Sales Performance,
changes in the “Product/Market”,
changes by the “Competition” and “Economic” Change.

But, what was even more interesting was not the CAUSE of change,
but HOW Companies went about “changing” the way they Sell.

BMAC Consultants identified Four Ways that people CHANGE their Sales Approach



1. Pragmatic Change, based on evidence, what works?
This is akin to Mintzberg’s view of “Emergent” Strategy. 

Different Salespeople try different things with different Customers and
a "New Way of Selling" emerges, based on evidence.  It has basic Validation.


2. Conservative Change attempts to stop Pragmatic Change,

fearing that it won’t work, or is changing Selling too fast.

Let us just keep going” the Market will shift in our favour.

The old way is best and we have “evidence” that it USED to work,
even if it no longer works!


These first two were “evidence” based, the next two are NOT!



3. Utopian Change to a ‘new, ideal and perfect’ Sales world,
without evidence of its likely effectiveness.
Based on a New Book, a Charismatic Sales Trainer, a ‘Cult’ like approach
where blind faith, hope and trust in a Method, Process, Software, ‘Guru’ or ‘Expert’.
When initial performance reports say it’s NOT working this is explained by
the Change not being fully “accepted”,
it then forms into “Disciples” and “Rebels”.

4. Restorative Change is going back to the “Golden Age of Selling”.
This is again NOT evidence based.
It simply requires that the Sales “Techniques” believed to work in the past,
e.g. as used previously in IBM, XEROX, APPLE
or one of the ‘Door to Door’ Sales Companies be re-adopted.
It usually has several Senior Executives sponsoring it
and the introduction of the Sales Trainer who trained them.

Often, you will find both ‘Utopian’ and ‘Restorative’ Change at work
in the same Company, at the same time, as neither is "Evidence" based.

I collected substantial evidence that Evidence Based Selling works.


So, By Accident or by Design?

How are you Changing?


But, sometimes LUCK works too!

There is such a thing as the right product,

in the right place, at the right time;

it just doesn’t last!

This blog was originally entitled “Modern Selling”

Modern Selling will always be of its own age, and it will always be ‘unorthodox’.

‘Orthodox’ Selling will always be the one just before it.


The Key Constructs in this Blog are Copyright ©BMAC Consultants 1999,
and if used should be acknowledged.

Don’t Trust the Trusted Advisor.


I have just read TAS Group’s white paper “Moving from Vendor to Trusted Advisor.”

It’s well written. It is a typical piece of Marketing ‘Content’ designed to excite and to promote their “Product” TAS Deal Maker. However, it falls between two stools.
It neither excites, nor was I left gagging for a demo of the Product!

What struck me was The Story of “Salesman Matt”, published by the CEO of The TAS Group
Donal Daly’s “Select Selling Sales Field book” - about a man called Matt.



Daly describes Matt as: “the ‘personification’ of the Trusted Advisor.”
And, it is Daly’s detail of
what a Trusted Advisor actually DOES that disturbs me!

A lot!

“Over the 15 or so years we’ve known Matt,
he has had three different employers,
but he has always retained the same four major customers.”

They don’t say that Matt left Employers to join Competitors taking the “HIS” customer with him or not.
But, it is clear that Matt as a “Trusted Advisor” to ‘his’ Customer
should not be treated as a “Trusted Employee”.



The flaw in this ‘Trusted Advisor’ thinking is that Matt “OWNS” his Customers.



“HIS” personal ‘relationship’ is bought, and paid for, by his Employer.

Those ‘Customers’ are Customers of Matt’s Employer;
Matt simply has stewardship of the Account.

I have had the pain of Managing Salespeople like Matt;
they withhold Key Data about “their” Customers,
while spending Company money on developing “their” relationship “Trusted Advisor”.

Trusted Advisors accept both a Salary and a Bonus,
but reserve ‘their rights’ to act in their ownbest interest”.

They are really ‘self-employed’ Agents,
earning their living from exploiting an Employer to fund ‘their’ Business and
their Employer’s Customer to pay a second time for ‘their’ results.

Trusted Advisors should not be trusted.

Not trusted by their Customers as their income depends upon their “Sales”, not their advice.
Not trusted by their Employers in whose interest they are paid to act, to sell,
not to give ‘Trusted Advice’ to a Customer.

Thankfully, we have some Evidence to base our Sales Decision on.
The evidence based models of The Challenger Sale,
would show that the “Trusted Advisor” is in fact part ‘lone wolf’ in ‘relationship’ clothing.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

The Secrets of Sales Success in 2015


Many of you will be planning your 2015 Kick-off,

here is your BIGGEST Challenge for the sales Year

A 12% Sales Target hike!


“In 2015, you are going to have to produce
the work of 9 Salespeople from 8 Salespeople!”

So, BMAC what are my options?

There are only TWO options
Train or Coach your existing team!


Your are going to have to make existing Salespeople
both More Effective and More Efficient.


I suggest that you begin by Sales Assessment of your current Team,
what do you think?

Here are some ideas of what to look at:

dashboard 3


Having Assessed your Team into Top Performers, Average performers

and Low Performers, then I suggest you overboard poor performers:



You will fail to meet Target again in 2015 if…. 

You do not take this action NOW!

poorest performing sales people

Organise the Sales Training they need, but don't do it yourself,

unless you happen to be a Sales Trainer working as an interim Sales Manager.

Here is WHY YOU should NOT be the Sales Trainer:

driving lesson


After the Sales Training YOU MUST do the Sales Skills Coaching

Here is how you can be a GREAT Sales Coach:


Well if you stuck through all that,
things are looking a lot better for 2015:

You will have finished ALL your Recruitment by August 2015

You will have a performance improvement of 25% by June 2015,

You should easily make your Sales Target by November 2015.


Congratulations and

Is a Sales Methodology needed? Only if you want to succeed!

From Dave Stein's research area five of
The Real Reasons Sales Training Fails and What To Do About It

#5 Is an inadequate or completely absent Sales Methodology

(the organising principles underlying Selling)

In more than 20 of my Clients medium and small I have discovered that there was no methodology at all to their selling. They had a Sales Department, a Sales Manager and Salespeople but NO methodology for Selling. That is usually why I get called in because: “not having a Sales Methodology”
like “not having a Sales Strategy” means that you usually fail!

Dave Stein’s ESR site has a good enough definition of Sales Methodology and how it differs from Sales Process on

In my view, it is also about having a Sales Process that is driven by

That is Selling the way your Market wants to Buy.


Easy to Buy From!” is always the highest rated characteristic of a Supplier in the eyes of the Buyer when you survey Buyers.
Trusted Advice” scores low at 30%.

How do you know if you have a working Sales Methodology,
a broken Sales Methodology or no Sales methodology at all?

Well, you can retain a Sales Consultant like me, or you can ask your Customers:
How easy are we to buy from?”

Ask some of your Lost Business Prospects:
Were we easy to buy from, or did the difficulty in dealing with us play a part in why we lost the deal?”

Fixing a broken Sales Methodology (or a partly working Methodology), really does need a Consultant (internal or external). The output is ‘This is what we do wrong and why (PROOF),
and this is HOW through Changes we will put it right and these are the measures to prove its improving

Perhaps the toughest part of SALES METHODOLOGY is when you finally realize you cannot BUY one,
you have to CONSTRUCT one. Some great Companies like Huthwaite (SPIN is only a Part, you have to buy the Package), Miller Heiman, TAS, or Holden will sell you the components, BUT YOU will have to do the Assembly and the heavy lifting IMPLEMENTATION.

You can, if you are smart enough even mix and match
getting the Right, not just good enough, Components.

Methodology working

Sales Training without a Sales Methodology doesn’t work.


IBM (referring to their Structured Selling Methodology)
calls them their Cash Generating Machines!

So, save all your wasted expense on novelty courses
and one day training events, daft books, sales blogs and sales tips.
And, invest the money and time to build a Working Sales Methodology.