Chapter 1

Why It's Time to Change Selling

Your Sales Model Is Broken

Robert Wollan


Chapter Summary

  • Four powerful forces are driving sales improvement programs today—and they affect virtually every company in mature and developing markets.
  • Uncertainty, complexity, and operational complications are blocking most ambitious growth plans, but companies can't put off dealing with them any longer.
  • Companies are struggling with profitable growth, often because they are using outdated and ineffective sales channel models, which do not reflect recent major changes in markets.

Butch Cassidy: What's the matter with you?

Sundance Kid: I can't swim.

Butch Cassidy: Are you crazy? The fall will probably kill you.

Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid, Universal Studios, 1969

Forced to the edge of a cliff by forces out of their control, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid utter these classic lines when facing the reality that they will need to jump for a chance to survive. It also illustrates the challenge facing sales leaders today. Forced to the edge of a cliff by market forces beyond their control—low-cost competitors, rising costs, and declining margins—today's sales leaders find themselves focused on areas where their capabilities are not strong (Figure 1.1).

Figure 1.1 The Strength of Key Sales Capabilities in Sales Executives' Minds

Source: Innovation & Growth Survey, March 2006; The Economist Intelligence Unit.

The problem, like Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, is that they are worried ...

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