Penny Wise, Dollar Foolish


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My friend Skip Anderson wrote an outstanding post, “The Race To Sale Competence, A Case For Sales Training.”  He raises a critical issue:

As sales managers, are we so focused on managing expense that we lose sight of the opportunity?

Skip speaks to the issue that many sales managers fail to invest in sales training, consequently lose the opportunity to increase revenues and sales success.

I see this in too many aspects of business.  Managers have become focused on managing expense, not managing opportunity and the inherent risks.  Managing expense is important–but it’s easy.  In the words of Nancy Reagan, manager’s just say “No.”  Business growth rarely occurs by focusing on managing expense, bur rather from adroitly addressing opportunities and managing risk.  It’s the manager’s job to assess new opportunities, understand the investments required, assess risk, develop and execute plans to win.

Sales leaders are under great pressure, as all functional managers are.  Corporate executives constantly press for expense reduction.  Too often, some accountant, somewhere in the organization stops a critical project because of budget.  But isn’t it the job of sales managers to fight for those budgets, to invest in new opportunities to grow.  Whether it’s sales training, new tools, people, programs or other things that drive new business.  Not all of these will be approved, but even winning one drives growth and improvement.

As sales professionals, we go to our customers, asking them to invest in our products and services.  We create great arguments about how the value exceeds the cost and risk.  Seems to me, the same should be done within our organizations.

I’m not being naive, I understand the challenges and constraints.  It seems, however, that too many managers have succumbed, just focusing on expense and not addressing the opportunity.

Am I being too simplistic?

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Dave Brock
Dave has spent his career developing high performance organizations. He worked in sales, marketing, and executive management capacities with IBM, Tektronix and Keithley Instruments. His consulting clients include companies in the semiconductor, aerospace, electronics, consumer products, computer, telecommunications, retailing, internet, software, professional and financial services industries.


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