Customer Manufacturing Group
In This Issue
Out-Selling the Competition
Think Outside The Box
Marketing Snobs
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Developing Your Sales Force's Potential   

Your Sales Organization is critical to your company's success.


While some of what makes a Sales Organization successful is outside of Sales Management's

 control (and is written about in other papers we have published), there are some critical areas where you can improve your sales force's potential. This month's paper looks at some of them. 


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Customer Manufacturing Update
May 2014

Dear Mitchell,


Here is your May Customer Manufacturing Update. This Update features a white paper from Jeff Krawitz on developing your sales force's potential. In addition to being a Principal of our company, Jeff teaches one of the only Graduate School courses on Sales Management at a major University, NYU.

Out-Selling The Competition 

An article in Inc Magazine stated, "For most growing businesses, quality salespeople are a must. But most business models won't achieve exponential growth riding on the backs of the sales team. Even the best salesperson can't sell something that customers don't value. Furthermore, most high-growth companies don't achieve their successes by hiring the best salespeople. If they did, good salespeople would be too expensive for small companies to afford."


Only George Steinbrenner could afford a payroll of superstars to try to win the World Series several years in a row. And it didn't even work much of the time. Trying to build your business platform on a foundation of superstar sales people likely won't scale, and even if it does, it's exceedingly expensive.


The solution, as Mitch wrote about in his book, The Secret to Selling More, is about making sure you have something customers really value; making sure your sales people know what it is; and not expecting them to figure it out for themselves.


Do you KNOW what customers can buy from your company they don't believe (or actually can't) buy from anyone else? If your answer is "nothing," you will sell on price. If your answer is "I don't know" you'll need superstar sales people to try to make up for it. And if your answer is a generic: quality or service, you are likely not thinking like your customer.


Think Outside the Box: 
Focus on the Outcome 



One of our people had a great example while traveling back from Puerto Rico with his wife and another couple. They had four first class seats (as his wife says, there has to be some perk from him traveling so much) from San Juan to Dulles and then from Dulles to San Francisco. Upon check-in he found that on their flight from Dulles to SFO he and his wife were no longer sitting together, which was not ideal. He assumed they had changed equipment. Their friends found that only one of them had a seat on the flight, the other was unassigned. (Suddenly, not sitting together looked like less of a problem.) 


The gate agents in San Juan basically threw up their hands and said they could not help as the flight was over-booked and all seats were in "airport control." (The process was constraining a solution.) As they had a very short connection in Dulles, they would be unable to plead their case there and it was not looking promising. A couple of calls to the United Premier desk met with no more help other than to suggest that they ask San Juan to call Dulles for help. (Again, focusing on the process.)


They connected with a supervisor in San Juan who said he would call Dulles, but did not expect any help because the gate would not be staffed for their flight for several hours, but he found a phone number he could try. While he was doing that it dawned on our team member that they were unlikely to be on the last flight from Dulles to SFO and maybe they could take a later flight and get four seats. (Focusing on the desired outcome, which was to get to SFO as quickly as possible as a group.) He asked another agent and she told him there was a flight leaving about an hour later that had four seats in first class but it was just a 757 rather than the 777 they would have been flying on. (The aircraft type had no real effect on the desired outcome.)


When the supervisor finished his call to Dulles and advised that he got a voice mail message from the only number he could call and it was for "grievances," our team member asked if the supervisor could just move them to the later flight. He checked, said sure ... problem solved.


Nobody in the solution chain ever thought to suggest they take a later flight. They all looked at the problem as how to get them on the flight they were booked on and none could do that because only one person, the Dulles gate agent, as yet not assigned, could actually do that for them.


Offering an "out of the box" solution, which simply focused on the desired outcome, solved many problems: (1) They all were assured to be on the same flight, (2) They no longer had to rush from one flight to the next, (3) Stress gone


Are your people looking to achieve an outcome that matters or are they constrained by the process they think they have to follow?

Maybe We're Just Marketing Snobs 


We saw another article about the "expanding role" of the CMO. As you might expect, this article got our attention. Unfortunately, we were again stunned by what CMOs must have thought their jobs were before because the article's definition of expansion seems like a big "duh" to us.


As an example, the article stated: In fact, industry watchers say today's CMO must become the de-facto chief customer officer - or lose out. "CMOs have historically been the brand steward. This is an opportunity to be a customer steward," ... "If they don't do it, someone else will."


Seriously, who else could possible be the CCO? The VP of Sales? Maybe, as they get accused of being on the "customer's side," but really...?


The article suggested perhaps a new position would need to be created. Seriously? How about you just make the CMO responsible for MARKETING and not just branding or promotion or other limited functions?  


Once you realize that the true role of Marketing is to align the capabilities of your company with the current and future needs of your customers, this whole article becomes unnecessary.  


Brands Are Mind Triggers
Free Reading Guide

If you have a copy of our book Value Acceleration, you can download a free reading guide to help you and your team get the most from the book. (And btw, the book is also available in a Kindle edition.)

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Mitchell Goozé


Customer Manufacturing Group, Inc. 

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