Earlier this week I posted a blog entry about the value of innovation and technology in supporting the sales function. This was in response to a blog that bothered me. It was from one of the oldest sales training companies. I felt that the posts I referenced were misguided and potentially damaging to the sales effectiveness industry in general. Also, I thought that the approach that was espoused short-changed the sales professionals who need all the help they can get right now. It’s just my opinion, but I believe all companies have an obligation to continuously innovate and find better ways to help their customers.
Then, as coincidence would have it, I just read a recent blog entry from well-known and respected analyst Dave Stein. Dave’s company ES Research cares deeply about the sales effectiveness industry. He has very strong opinions about companies adopting sales training and methodology in the right way. I had spoken to Dave recently to gain his perspective on the market, and to share mine.
I was not aware of it, (Dave’s integrity is his hallmark) but at around the same time Dave had been speaking with leaders of a number of other companies in the industry; Miller Heiman, Franklin Covey, Executive Conversation, and Performance Methods. His recent blog post related the views of his interviewees. It was interesting to note that only one of the companies (Miller Heiman) seemed tied to the traditional way of sales training delivery. Coincidence? The post I referenced above was called What’s Miller Heiman Afraid Of?
[Update – Sam Reese, CEO of Miller Heiman has commented on the blog – and in the spirit of complete fairness, you can see his comment here.]
I also learned in Dave’s post that he had been speaking with one of The TAS Group customers. Here’s the extract directly from Dave’s blog.
“A short note: The CEO of a company that engaged with The TAS Group 18 months ago told me today that four of the last five quarters since they reengineered their sales approach and brought on The TAS Group’s tools were “record breaking.” He attributed that to “better execution, strategic selling [meant generically, not the trademark owned by Miller Heiman] and discipline.”
I think I know the company Dave is referring to here (though I know he won’t tell me unless he has permission). But, in any case, if this independent and unsolicited feedback is what we continue to get from our customers (who use the Dealmaker Sales Performance Automation platform), then I continue to feel good about the millions of dollars The TAS Group invests annually in our sales methodology and technology R&D center.
After all, the customer is always right.