The Machine (book)

The Machine > Part 1 > Chapter 5: Three variations on the standard model

Executives who encounter SPE for the first time will often ask if it is applicable in all situations. The answer to this question, not surprisingly, is no. Few theories – if any – can legitimately claim to be valid in all circumstances. However, before we offer-up our organization’s uniqueness as a get-out-of-jail-free card, it’s worth […]

Applying Sales Process Engineering, Managing Opportunities

The Holy Grail of technical sales: how to disentangle salespeople from production

Whenever we work in a technical-sales environment, this – bar none – is the most valuable idea we bring to the table. Here’s the most obvious symptom of the problem: When salespeople make a technical sale, they inevitably become entangled with production. Their involvement in production cannibalizes their (already limited) business-development capacity – leading to […]

Measures and General Management, Slaying Sacred Cows

If you tell your team to ‘maximize sales’ that may be a tacit admission of a flaw in the design of your business!

Your Director of Sales should be charged with the responsibility for maximizing sales, right? Well, maybe not! If he or she is, it might be worth reflecting on what this says about how your critical business functions are resourced. Let’s assume (for simplicity) that your business consists of just two basic functions: Sales Production Ask […]

Measures and General Management, Slaying Sacred Cows

Why the term ‘communication problem’ insults your team members and retards the performance of your organization

Managers and team members alike can often be observed drawing the convenient conclusion that some recent mishap was simply a communication problem. This conclusion is convenient because, in practice, it’s an excuse to do nothing! After all, aren’t humans (being humans) prone to mis-communication? Now, if you accept that an inability to communicate is a […]