Go Swimming In the “Blue Ocean” of Sales
Are you looking for unlimited growth? Come do the back stroke of “Blue Ocean” and enrich your sales department. The “Blue Ocean” is a business a marketing concept cultivated by Kim and Mauborgne (2004). It states that in untested markets where competition is far less crowded is a vast expanse like the big blue ocean. This is opposed to the ocean made red by the sharks in a predefined market space. Products or services do not seem to matter and the concept works in sales too.
Innovation vs Confrontation
As noted by Kim and Mauborgne (2005), old concepts that have the military verbiage and ideals (i.e. executive officers, headquarters, etc.) have been held for many years by organizations. The focus of strategy is to beat the competition and battle over market share- very combative. The problem with this line of thinking is tactics used by both sides cancel each other out.
The new concept is to rise above and make the competition extraneous by taking the organization into the “Blue Ocean”. The benchmark is no longer the competition but what is called “value innovation”. This can be done by stepping out of current market boundaries by creating a jump in value for the consumer. This action should leave competition far behind.
When this value innovation is applied in sales, the term coined by Paul Lemberg (2015) for this is “hyper-selling”. According to Lemberg, if implemented correctly it is a real way to push the growth of a company. In Lemberg’s “Hyper-Growth Strategy” he looks to work done by Bosworth and Rackham (1985) that states that only 5% of any given market is actively shopping for your product or service. That if you want the other 95% to make that purchase you must reach out to them.
“Blue Ocean” Sales Structure
Reaching out and making face time, whether it is face to face or over skype. One has to admit it is easy to avoid the phone, mail and e-mail but, when someone come to the door most will stop to listen. In the old days, it was called “cold calling”. Though it is not something that anyone likes doing and for every 50 (casting the line) or so interactions 5-10 will turn into conversations (reeling in the fish from the “Blue Ocean”). Doing this one could pick up sales that otherwise would be missed. This tactic is best used by business to business companies with products over $3000 or services over $1000. In this day of internet, companies can find warm leads by use of inbound marketing reporting (web analytics from social media, pay by click adverts, banner adverts, etc.).
Lemberg states that there is value in the skills of a sales person, he also cautions not all sales people have it. He puts into play a selling model, sales scripting and puts the focus on success. Through time the sales department can achieve exponentially higher earnings. This plan allows for more customer interaction by the CEO and the ability for the company to gain unlimited growth. The CEO can be cloned with salespeople who have a specialty for closing. By tapping into the untouched 95% customer base, growth happens by leaps and bounds.
Sales Issues and Answers
If a sales person is making 50 calls a day and not securing appointments, this could be a training issue and can be fixed. If the 50 calls a day are not happening, dismiss that person as quickly as possible they are not willing to succeed and will not help you achieve the success you are looking for. Lemberg advises taking them on three at a time as only one will survive through training. Though an ‘in-house’ sales staff will take slightly longer than a telemarketing company, the in-house staff will more profitable and consistent.
This strategy is about maximizing return with reducing risk at the same time. Repeatable, sustainable and scalable sales systems are provided through the successful use “Blue Ocean” sales. This is an idea for firms who want to grow and expand on a large scale. For business to business companies with expensive products or services, it is an amazing way to enjoy growth.
From the Author:
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