Measures and General Management, Slaying Sacred Cows, The Machine (book)

The Machine > Part 1 > Chapter 6: The end of commissions, bonuses and other artificial management stimulants

If it’s true that sacred cows make the best hamburgers, then we’re in for quite a feast! I’ve chosen to close Part One of this book with a frontal assault on the juiciest bovine of all: the unassailable belief that salespeople should be paid commissions. And while I’m at it, I’ll take aim at bonuses, […]

Measures and General Management

On pushing string uphill

From time to time, I come across managers who battle valiantly and unflinchingly to accomplish what appears to be downright impossible. To their credit, these noble individuals manage to notch up occasional successes! I even see entire businesses that owe their existence to the belief that, with enough passion, determination and brute force, miracles can […]

Measures and General Management, Slaying Sacred Cows

Why resellers don’t sell, and why you should be glad they don’t!

“If only we could get distribution … we’d have it made.” I hear this anxious declaration regularly. Particularly from manufacturers and software vendors. I’ve even heard it from a number of musicians! Manufacturers want representation from agents or retailers. Software vendors want to establish relationships with resellers. And musicians want representation from a record label. […]

Case Studies, Generating Opportunities, Measures and General Management

How Harry Edgecliffe’s success killed his thriving pet food business … and how you can avoid his strategic marketing blunders.

Following is the sad story of the entrepreneurial Harry Edgecliffe and his ruthless competitor Spot Pet Foods. Although neither Harry nor Spot exists, their tale provides a number of invaluable lessons for all marketers. Harry Edgecliffe is not a happy man! In recent months, the business he toiled for so many years to build has […]

Measures and General Management

How clean is clean: lessons from a monopolist

Now here’s a tough one … What would you do if you were providing a service that appeared to be identical to the service offered by your competitors – in spite of the fact that yours was clearly the superior offering? That was the problem faced by a large commercial cleaning contractor with whom I […]

Applying Sales Process Engineering

Is your marketing manager redundant?

You know, I’d hate to be a marketing manager in a typical service-based firm. The problem is, in such a firm, there’s precious little for a marketing manager to manage! Here’s a person with no authority, no direct reports, a tiny budget, and no process to oversee. A person who’s only mandate (to ’get the […]

Measures and General Management, Slaying Sacred Cows

When higher conversion equals lower sales

I’ve discussed in the past that an assumption that underpins the design and management of most sales processes is that conversion (rate) is the primary driver of sales. The Sales Process Engineering method recognises this assumption as erroneous. In most all sales processes, opportunity flow (volume) is the primary driver, not conversion. It’s quite easy […]

Slaying Sacred Cows

The myth of brand equity

At best ‘brand’ is a useful word. At worst, it’s a dangerously misleading management tool. It’s hard to talk about marketing without using the word brand (or one of its derivations). Believe me, I’ve tried! But in spite of (or, perhaps, because of) its useful nature, the word brand is functionally bankrupt. More often than […]