Are You Planning Your Next Sales Model Update?

ft bus model gag 08sep14

Sitting in a funky reception, I read a tiny column at the back of the FT Monday.

Oliver Glassmann wondered why it is that so many dominant firms miss their moment to innovate their business model. Despite having a proven track record of doing just that in times gone by.

I fancy one easy answer is that complacency finally sets in.

The ‘continual improvement’ drive fades.

You might be able to do some b-school style analysis of the personality of such floundering companies.

When NASA reached for the moon back in the 60s the average age of a rocket scientist was 27. Today they are pretty much going nowhere. Average age right now? Reputedly 57. Ouch.

Pick the bones out of that.

Then there’s my total favourite, the Greiner graph of a business life cycle.

Anyway. If kaizen is no longer core, revenues drop. Sharply.

Executives and innovators must learn how to develop business models.

So runs one article sentence. Where the word ‘develop’ is meant to convey ‘improve’, ‘update’, ‘adapt’, ‘amend’.

Yet why does it stop there?

Why aren’t we switching in the word ‘sales’ for ‘business’ in general?

When was the last time an organisation truly updated their sales model?

It happens all too rarely.

There is a lamentable absence of sales model continual improvement.

I am sometimes guilty for brevity of using the terms sales process and sales model almost as synonyms. Yet they are not necessarily the same thing.

Your sales model isn’t just the traditional system as may be deployed via any of the big-ticket purveyors. With or without reporting software to tie it all in.

Nor must it only relate to how your sales are made. Direct, indirect, channel, phone, field.

They may well be the bones of your ‘process’, but the arteries and veins, brains and brawn, muscles and meat, are all the actions combined that when they occur, tend to mean (and by tend I’m really saying they should pretty much guarantee) that the deal comes home.

From sales culture engendered, to individual tactics on a sales call. There’s broad scope.

Do you know what all these elements are for you and your happy clients?

Better still, when was the last time one was ‘updated’? And when is the next one set to get fresh treatment too? The sooner the better…

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