Why your sales managers are spongers and can’t be otherwise
If you have a USP, your business is a success. Have none — it’s all lousy. Humans are no part of this equation.
"Active sales" are your CEO’s auto-training exercise that helps him/her therapeutically conceal the fact of having no USP from their own self.
For if you have one, no "active sales" are needed.
"The aim of marketing is to make selling superfluous. Its aim is to know and understand the customer so well that the product or service fits him and sells itself."
document processing salesmen; and
"active sales" men.
While the former are clearly living out their last days, the latter…
If your top manager is quite serious as he tells you that "people are the most important thing in a business", he is either a hypocritical liar or an incompetent fool. Usually something in-between.
The most important things in business are brains and will — properly applied at the head of the company.
If (a) the company’s leaders have (b) brains and (c) will, these three factors combine to produce an efficient USP (unique selling proposition), a.k.a. "marketing strategy", a.k.a. "positioning".
Have a USP — your business is a success.
Have none — it’s all lousy. Of course, this applies to a free and competitive market.
"People" are not part of this equation. On the contrary, ordinary common sense suggests that the more "people" are involved in USP creation, the fewer are the chances of success. "Design by committee", "Happy is a warlord who fights coalitions" © Napoleon. Both Napoleon and, say, Jobs exemplify this vividly, if from the contrary.
So what is called "active sales" is actually an auto-training exercise for CEOs that helps them therapeutically conceal the fact of having no USP from their own self. Because if they have one, they need no "active sales".
The very truth itself, Drucker’s message from our epigraph, is quite relevant here.
So if your product/service FAILS to sell itself, then you’ve fallen short of your main goal of creating an efficient USP.
If the main challenge is not met, no "active sales" will help; this is just a waste of money and getting on your customers" nerves.
If the main challenge is met, then it is a far more money wasting and useless procedure. Apple never sends sandwich men to cruise business quarters as walking ads.
In some cases, active cross-sales of highly marginal related goods along with profitless base items really bring in money. But the same goal is attained through quality saleroom design (particularly, optimized goods layout) and/or quality online catalogue design, or — drastically — by creating a cloud of assortment-focused sales floors around a unimart.
Practice (and strict logic) suggest that after hiring costly "account managers" with "their own customer bases" the business ends up working for them rather than its own shareholders.
And the organization cancerously transforms into a shell for these parasites" comfortable existence. And when the parasite changes its host organism (and it will, sooner or later, with its own "customer base"), it only leaves its former host shell behind, sucked dry and discarded.
P.S. Is there really an economic sub-activity with its business model relying on "active sales"? No, it is all fraud: from the medieval sales of indulgences to pushing miraculous weight loss additives (or magic cosmetics, slimming jeans, or super hi-tech vacuum cleaners).
The contrary is true, too: if the business in question is inconceivable without "active sales", you are dealing with followers of Andy Tucker and Jeff Peters.