Ramping up a sales effort

I read about a company that was looking to increase their bottom-line by increasing various performance metrics of their sales force. The business plan was almost entirely focussed on “selling better” which would presumably and hopefully result in more sales.

If a product needs to be “sold”, where “sold” includes some degree of persuasion or cajoling, then does this mean the real focus ought to be on the product or service?

If the effort went into making the product better, one that was actually wanted, then the only remaining effort need be in a marketing function where marketing serves to make people aware of the product.

After all, if you have ever “been sold” something you didn’t want, you are almost certainly going to resent the company.

In fact I have to keep reminding myself about this basic tenet in other things, basically focussing on sales is just cutting the corner off product betterment.

5 thoughts on “Ramping up a sales effort

  1. what if there were two companies basically selling the exact same product and there really wasn’t anything more to make the product better?

    • Ah, good point. Thank you Wynne. It’s tough thinking of something that’s very hard to improve on. A scissors is one example and I suppose I have to include the design of an umbrella in here too. It’s hard to make these better but we still try, maybe we start focussing on making it look better rather than work better but still it’s looking to be better. I think it’s probably inescapable that there will always be room for us to strive to make it better (which may include cheaper) over time.

      However I am dodging the point. Same two widgets, same price, and then I think you’re right that people would be buying from the company with the better service – why not? But I suppose the subtlety is that it is now about better “service” and not better “sales”. Maybe in the original post, the company should have been ramping up their service and client communications more.

      What do you think please?

  2. well, i suppose if two products are exactly identical, then service component is the “product” that makes a difference. service can include speed of delivery, level of availability at a moments notice, how the product arrives (intact, nothing broken or missing) etc.

    so, i suppose it isn’t just sales, it is the company as a whole that determines if the end product and experience is superior and if the customer wants to buy it again.

    it isn’t the big sale that is important, it is the repeat customer.

  3. This post by Fred Wilson contains a great discussion thread based around marketing:

    http://www.avc.com/a_vc/2011/02/marketing.html#comment-155823042

    If you do believe the majority of the original “Ramping up a sales effort” post, is it true that marketing should then simply be an extended and enhanced effort to ask customers to help guide you how to make a better product? Their actually buying will then be an indication of when you have it right. Increased people coverage is then simply a signal that you are asking enough people.

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