Friday, 11 January 2013

Marketing and Sales – The Black Holes of Business

Marketing and Sales – The Black Holes of Business
“My Sales & Marketing feels like a Black Hole – money goes in, but not enough revenue comes back out….”

In 1916 after Albert Einstein published his theories on relativity and gravity, the German astronomer and physicist Karl Schwarzschild identified a mysterious perimeter that surrounds Black Holes in space. 

Schwarzschild’s Radius, as this phenomenon is known, has such a tremendous gravitational force that it warps the space-time continuum, devouring all matter, light and energy around it into an infinitely dense singularity – never to be seen or heard of again!

For the last decade, many CEOs have been observing the similarities between Black Hole singularities and the forces that seem to be swallowing the efforts of their sales and marketing team – never to be seen or heard of again!

For example - while you are reading this - all around the world more than half of all salespeople are failing to make their quotas.
  • Three quarters of new products or services launches are failing to meet revenue and profit expectations
  • Ninety percent of sales opportunities aren’t closing according to forecast; and of that 90 percent, three quarters are going to be more than three months late

How can this be?
Millions upon millions of pounds are being poured into technology and training-based improvement programs - with 75% failing to produce any meaningful results (or any results at all!)

Notwithstanding staff attrition and redeployment, one would reasonably have expected that sales organisations employing one or all of these approaches would by now have solved their revenue performance issues. And they’d be sitting back watching their sales go through the roof.

They did not and they are not. 
CEO’s and their Sales Directors still struggle with most of the same sales performance issues as their predecessors faced ten years ago.

Sales solution vendors continually release new, more complex, versions of their previous products.

Sales Directors who no longer see measurable value in their sales training and technology budgets, delegate sales development to marketing, Learning & Development or even IT departments. 

Typically viewed as cost centers’, these areas seldom have the experience, power or budget to provide more than a patchwork of knee-jerk options that are largely disconnected from revenue impact. 

Jaded salespeople unsurprisingly view each new tool or technique as the “flavour-of-the-month” fad to be serially ignored. 

And when people inevitably move on, leaving no custodian or long-term plan for systematic change, the cycle begins anew.

Well here’s the universe-changing secret…
For the last decade, the conventional solutions pedaled by consultants and vendors to fix revenue performance, have focused on personal skills training, manager coaching and technology installations – each depending upon application by the individual for success.
Leaving most Boards and CEOs thinking these systemic, crippling problems can only be solved by shooting another Sales Director, replacing and/or retraining the sales force or purchasing a new CRM system.
Yet revenue performance is stuck in a black hole because sales and marketing issues continue to be tackled discretely within separate silos - rather than organisationally. This is the powerful gravitational force holding back many.

Until revenue performance processes are aligned to and inseparable from the total business strategy, marketing & sales - and the vital revenue they are responsible for - will continue to spiral downwards into Black Holes.



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