Again with blaming sales

I got an email today for a sales seminar that started with a quote by Stephen Heiman, famous for Miller-Heiman Strategic Selling. While it was not one of their seminars, the quote was attributed to him. The quote: “Over 65% of sales opportunities are lost due to the sales team’s inability to develop and sell perceived value.” Probably a true statement. However, the implication that this is a Sales problem is my issue.

Value definition is a Marketing responsibility. As I outline in my book, The Secret To Selling More, expecting Sales to define the core Value Proposition is incorrect thinking and dooms too many companies to insufficient sales. If this could be fixed with sales training, it would have been fixed a long time ago.

Mitch

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3 Responses to Again with blaming sales

  1. Bob Hatcher says:

    You missed the end of the quote. The actual quote ends with “… in the minds of the customer.”

    Sure, marketing can develop what it thinks is the core value proposition, but it is sales that must relate that VP in terms of what the customer wants to fix, accomplish or avoid.

    Marketing is the customer identification process – i.e. the process that selects groups of potential customers based upon a potential value proposition.

    Sales is the customer acquisition process – i.e. the ones who have to turn potential benefits into real benefits in the eyes of the customer.

    • Mitch/Ralph says:

      We may be in violent agreement … or not. The “end of the quote” was not included in what I got, but it does not change my position. You suggest that Marketing is responsible for developing “what it thinks is the core value proposition.” You then suggest that “it is sales that must relate that VP in terms of what the customer wants to fix, accomplish or avoid.”

      My issue is that Marketing MUST get the Value Proposition right and teach that Value Proposition to Sales and identify WHO the Sales people should focus on who are most likely to need it. If Marketing fails to do this, which I believe too many Marketing departments do, then Sales is forced to determine what they think the Value Proposition might be and hope they can relate it to something some customer might agree they need. Hope is not a successful strategy and to blame Sales for failing to make sales because Marketing has failed to identify a useful Value Proposition for an identifiable target customer is not helpful and more “sales training” does not fix this, becuase it is not and has never been a Sales problem.

  2. Amy Hawes says:

    I really enjoy your blog posts – short bursts of informative, interesting content. I see them “announced” on LinkedIn. Keep ’em coming!

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