Magazine article Marketing

Salesforce-Speak May Be Costly

Magazine article Marketing

Salesforce-Speak May Be Costly

Article excerpt

I recently heard a senior and justly well-respected British marketer say that the best advice he could offer the up-and-coming marketing professional was to listen to the salesforce. This is undoubtedly sound advice, but it should be hedged with caution.

When we listen to the salesforce we should be very clear about what we are hearing. At its most defensive we may just be receiving a litany of excuses why the sales target has not been achieved. These are then recycled in reports to other parts of the organisation that before long may become self-fulfilling prophesies.

One of our most senior managers in Tokyo has compiled a list of the most popular, and in some cases bizzare, excuses that have been offered to him. The list contains paradoxically both "The weather was bad" and "The weather was too good" as field-based personnel have sought to blame their business failures on the elements. He now commands that we should simply refer by number to his list if we seek to offer excuses.

The most popular excuse of all is to blame the competitors, who have this annoying habit of seeking to frustrate our well-planned business endeavours. Of course, feedback on competitor activity is useful, but again there are significant dangers.

A good example of this occurred in the Japanese beer market. Kirin has led the market for years, followed by Sapporo, and Asahi used to come a distant third. The Asahi marketing men would berate their sales colleagues for their persistent shortfalls versus target, and so the sales colleagues sent back a steady drip of reports on Kirin's activities. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.