The Death of Field Sales
By Justin Roff-Marsh
November 3, 2017
The design of the sales function has hardly changed in the last 100 years.
Sure, there’s new technology and fancy new verbiage – but the basics remain unchanged.
Salespeople still operate autonomously, they still own relationships with customers and they still, predominantly, earn commissions.
This is in spite of the fact that salespeople are fast becoming less relevant to customers than they have ever been before. Given the choice, customers are voting with their feet and transacting online, rather than interacting with salespeople, whenever they have the opportunity.
At last, we have a new approach to the design of sales. A radical departure from standard practice that eliminates salespeople’s autonomy, returns the ownership of customers to the organization and banishes sales commissions.
The approach – what Justin Roff-Marsh calls Sales Process Engineering (SPE) involves the industrialization of the sales function: the application of division-of-labor, the formalization of workflows and the centralization of scheduling.
This new approach is totally compatible with the rapid migration of business to the Internet and it forces a much tighter integration of the organization as a whole (new product development, marketing, sales, engineering, and production).
About the Presenter:
Justin Roff-Marsh - For 20 years, Justin Roff-Marsh’s deep thinking and writing on the subject of sales process engineering has blazed a trail for others to follow.
Justin is the author of The Machine: A Radical Approach to the Design of the Sales Function.
He’s the developer of Sales Process Engineering (SPE) a TOC application for Sales Management. And, he’s is the founder of Ballistix—a consultancy with operations in the USA, the UK and Australia.
Although Justin was a science nut as a child (and still is today), he commenced his career in sales. He sold insurance and then progressed to manage a team of 100 salespeople. He then co-founded a firm that sold financial education and quickly discovered that his product lacked the margins required to sustain a typical field-based sales force. He developed his approach to sales process engineering in response to this challenge.
Justin’s approach to the sales process is as revolutionary as Deming’s was to manufacturing. He argues passionately that the application of scientific management principles to the sales process is the next great uncharted frontier for industry. His message is always controversial, but he never fails to delight audiences with his fast paced delivery.