Sales Machine – The discussion after the 23d TOCPA Conference in Tennessee, March 2016
30 March 2016, Jelena Fedurko
A few days ago we had the 23d TOCPA Conference in Tennessee. It was a great gathering of TOC practitioners from nine countries. It was good to see old friends and meet new friends. We had two intensive days of presentations, discussions and networking.
The discussion on some subjects has continued after the conference. With permission of the authors and with our big Thank you to them, we publish their discussion.
Please feel free to contribute and share your views and experience. You can do that by writing in the ‘Leave a Reply” area below.
28 March 2016, Alejandro Fernández:
Hello TOC Practitioners
I will grow my knowledge more if you share your evaluation about The Machine, Justin Roff Marsh book that I described in our Meeting.
Alejandro Fernández Rivera
29 March 2016, Bill Taylor:
I first saw Justin Roff Marsh present in TOCICO 2004 in Miami. I liked his presentation very much, but at the time did not fully understand its connection to TOC, other than the unusual proposition of breaking the cloud at A-B.
Over the years, Justin’s work and TOC have closed the chasm between traditional TOC and mainstream. I liked your presentation last week very much, and felt it was more “TOC” than others on the same subject. Good job!! And I agree with the injections into sales that Justin proposes and you presented. Henry Camp’s presentation also shows convergence.
But, maybe, we have all changed in the intervening 12 years. A good sign that TOC is becoming more mainstream. And that mainstream is becoming more TOC.
The above is my residual impression. I choose to write it without re-reading or reviewing, to enhance its validity,
29 March 2016, Sadashiv Pandit:
I told Alejandro that the idea is like ‘ccpm in sales’. I said I will try in fleetguard and revert.
29 March 2016, Bill Taylor:
Interesting thought. One of the ways CCPM helps is by reducing the conflict between project managers and resource managers, and creating teamwork around the projects. This is necessary for Justin’s solution to work. In this approach, the salesman must understand that he is a project resource, like the other members of the team, and not the owner of the customer. And the team’s project is either a large sale or continuing periodic sales to a customer. For traditional salesmen, this is very difficult to accept. We have evolved sales that way at Coca-Cola over the years, but it took time and pain.
I tried to do this at a Caterpillar distributor in Brazil in 2009. I might have been successful if I’d have a cloud based SAAS software like Exepron at the time, that salesmen and other resources could have used from anywhere. But, the salesmen like owning “their” customers, so a continuing success did not hold.
Good luck with this. It can work for you. But get ready to lose some of your apparently “best” salesmen.
A group photo from the 23d TOCPA Conference in Tennessee, 21-22 March 2016
I think you can make it clearer to the Salespeople by eliminating that title in the company altogether. The win for them is no longer having to do the jobs they didn’t enjoy out of the 13 different jobs I mentioned in my presentation. What worked for me (I lost none of my salespeople) was to ask them what pay felt fair to them and then give it to them. Mine were 1) reasonably close to retirement age, 2) had all already stopped expecting annual growth in commissions (they had stagnated) and 3) liked the idea of getting help from a team so they didn’t feel so much like oxen in yokes. The notion of everybody relying on them wore on them on one hand, while on the other they liked that people looked up to them.
Interestingly, none of my salespeople became the Presenter. Most are our repositories of product and application knowledge and serve customers by looking for savings, documenting them and implementing for the customers. Two are relationship managers (and boy will I save some money and increase capacity when one of them retires!) One is an equipment specialist who advises on labor and material saving capital purchases. One became our margin czar, who manages pricing for the whole company, which has increased his pay and raised our T by about 23% in one year, without any loss of customers.
The more they feel the team is helping getting new business and keeping existing customers, the less realistic they they think
asking for an increase in a good year is. Most of all, to make ex-salespeople comfortable, the company must take control of and responsibility for increasing sales and retaining customers. This was a great relief to all.