What's The Return, Again?

With a decent glass of Piemonte vini rossi, I was happily snug in a Torino bar around midnight and glanced over to see a copy of the International Herald Tribune.  Make no mistake about it, this paper is useless.  So many have tried to make an ‘international newspaper’ and failed miserably, and this is no exception.  Why anyone other than a yank would read it is beyond me (as is why any American would read it themselves funnily enough!). 

So it was with pleasant surprise I happened across an article syndicated I think from the New York Times writer Thomas Homer-Dixon; the end of ingenuity.  It was a great example of opinion writing, mainly concerned with at what point does the development of previously unviable ways of producing oil, actually become viable.  This concept revolves around knowing the ‘EROI’; energy return on investment.  In essence, the debate raging is about how to prioritise new methods of searching out fuel.

And this got me thining.  I sell (fantastic) stuff to salesforces.  And the one time I get pressured, is when at a customer, a new broom arrives from outside.  They’ll often say things like “for that money I could get another salesguy”, hoping for an ego-massaging, kudos-enriching discount.  Naturally, none is forthcoming.

So in future, I’ll be able to talk about RoI in the context of EROI.  This means that most things in my client-universes have an easy-to-attribute figure (how ever rough it may be).  So figures such as how much a sales person should bring in are knowns – I’ll often here numbers here stating that anywhere between 4 & 10 times the package should be sold in terms of margin.  Yet at what point do you look to create more balance and further margin-enhancing tactics?  The idea is simply to get them to buy-in to my agenda, and this tangent will hopefully get them intellectually turned on 🙂

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