Thursday, March 22, 2012



From this point onwards , we will be speaking about sales & marketing both, whichever may be relevant in a particular area or domain which we are discussing

[picture shows a Vietcong guerrilla
during the Vietnam war]

It seems incredible to me that our average students still tend to confuse sales & marketing. ( I say this from my personal experience wherein I have seen that every sales-coach at the start of the training session, will be inevitably queried about sales and marketing). Let me make this more simpler.

Sales is that part of Marketing which is concerned about transfer of the goods manufactured/compiled or sevices offered/presented to entities which require them in exchange for value received. The main functions of the marketing department are market information & research, budgeting, strategy finalization, forecasting, sales and after sales. I have intentionally made this definition as simple as possible so that it is easy for comprehension. The sales function lies inside the function of marketing along with a number of other sub activities, which are equally important to the process of marketing as the sales function.

Now that we know the boundary limits between Sales & Marketing, let us go back through decades in search of Herr Karl Von Clausewitz, an Austrian General who is widely regarded as the greatest military tactician ever.Today in the world of marketing, it is a war out there. You cannot afford to loose one single order. Things are becoming desperate now.In these chaotic times, it is essential that Clausewitz's truth isms are known by everyone in the profession, of which the most important one is that of numerical superiority. The side with the higher numbers always win... Examples are all around us.
Germany lost World War II as their army was much less in numbers then the Allied Forces.  Before America enterd the war, The Allies were being subjected to defeat after defeat. But when America joined the war, the germans become numerically less and lost the war. In business, how does a small company with a million dollars turnover fight its competitor with a billion dollars capital base. It doesn't if its wise for that will be suicide.

What it does is to analyse all the businesses where the big company is involved in and to what extent.Generally all bis companies have a few VIP niches where they rule; Some more where they are not so formidable and a few where it has a small presence. 
The smaller company often tries to target one of these third category niches and introduce products which are better then the big company models.They sneak in introduce their product and sneak out. They then bring out better versions of their own product in a continuous upgradation. The big company becomes aware of this and in most cases has no time or interest to take on the small company against a product which contributes  only a paltry amount to its turnover. There are cases where the big company has even sold out its small share in the particular product business to the smaller company.

In marketing, these type of attacks from the flanks are called Guerrilla Marketing marketing and the 'guerrilla market sales' are called Guerrilla Sales

See you next time

Thursday, March 08, 2012

A Brief Recap on Selling By Research (SBR)

Hi Friends,

It's me again. Your friendly neighborhood sales-specialist (but currently unemployed) hobbit. (Seems that people just do not like specialists, huh?)
Jokes apart, now let's get down to serious business.

I think that it will be prudent, to indicate in a nutshell here, what we have discussed about Selling By Research (SBR) in the last three posts. This is because I confess that after going over the subject posts, I found that there is something missing.. something akin to a common thread running through these three posts thereby linking them and by virtue of which the reader an see or feel the writer’s vision and feelings.
 This has not been the case here. 

I am sincere in what I write and I don't think that without the recap, these posts will do little justice to all those hours of working by the midnight oil.  My apologies to you too for wasting your time to some extent and I do hope that you will give me another chance to make amends. The recap is as follows:

(1)SBR is only applicable in the field of selling of capital, engineering equipment which are of high value. SBR is  practical only when the value of the item or service being sold exceeds 30 Lacs in INR. This at the present rate is about 0.6 million USD. SBR should never be used in selling priocesses for low value items or services or FMCG. And, the value criteria mentioned above is the unit value. BULK value should never be considered when to justify using SBR.

(2)SBR cases always have less competition but the competition is global and world class. It is true that sometimes, smaller companies do grab the limelight but theirs is a dicey life. They can go extinct at any moment.

(3)All the players in a SBR application have open strengths and weaknesses. Therefore, the person with the sales lead first has a much better chance of getting the order. That is why sales leads matter so much.

(4)In SBR, the most important input is information. You need to have all the information with you if you want to clinch a deal. If you are thinking that this information is required for blackmail of any type, you have totally misunderstood me. This information is about the solution you are offereing and the customer’s history of accepting different kinds of solutions.
SBR is 100% ethical help the DO NOT CHEAT HIM or HER.

(5)To practice SBR, you need trust on your people and your boss needs to have trust on you. I have seen allegedly foreign-returned-top-honchos-whose only ability is acting berating people for not going on tours. I pity people like this as they totally fail to know what touring is all about in this high value market. I also pity the management of such companies.

(6)Cold calls have no place in SBR sales. Think about it..Will you give a order wore more then half a million dollars to someone on a cold call. I won’t and the chances are that you won’t either. And in today’s times when it is possible to have a confidential report on whether a person has a criminal record in the US by a mere click in an hour or two, lack of information of a customer and his company is unexcuseable. Yes, dead ends will be reached every now and then but you have to circumvent them.

(7)Finally please remember that SBR is only for selling in India and in South East Asia and maybe in the Middle East. In the west, I will not venture to comment as I know nothing about the markets and general sales behavioural trends there.

We will now wnd SBR here and next time we will take up strategy, unless anything comes up in between. We will explore sales & marketing and we will try to ante up social skills. Till then its bye from

The one-and-only