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Selling Processes And Rube Goldberg

by David Brock on June 21st, 2013

Rube Goldberg was a Pulitzer Prize winning cartoonist, sculptor, and author.  He was famous for inventing machines that took the most simple tasks and made them insanely complex. 

Sometimes, when I look at what we do to ourselves in Sales and Marketing, I wonder if we aren’t creating Rube Goldberg machines.  Whether a strategy to close a deal, the selling process itself, our commission plans, our go to market programs, the latest cool, sales or marketing program…….

Sometimes, it seems we take what should be so simple–finding customers who have problems we can solve and helping them solve them  and make them so complex.

For a little levity in your day, enjoy the Rube Goldberg Page Turning Machine–then think about you selling processes and have a private chuckle  😉

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2 Comments
  1. Dave;

    A friend of mine has a saying I really like…”I got tired of doing it by hand so I built a machine to do it for me.”

    Automation is supposed to be about making complex or tedious tasks (or complex, tedious tasks) easier, faster, less expensive and with output of higher quality. Not page turning machines like your great example.

    It pains me to see the complexities and sometimes downright barriers inflicted on the poor sales pro for tasks that should be made simpler, easier, quicker. And the absence of capabilities that would expedite the laborious, “by hand” tasks that would really help the sales pro.

    To use your Rube example, I don’t need a goofy page turning machine; I need something to help me find the right sentence in the right paragraph in the right chapter of the right book at the right time.

    Solutions like that will result in bigger and better pipelines, alignment with customer/prospects, improved ASPs and close rates…and less angst-filled quarterly business reviews that follow gut-wrenching quarter-ends.

    • Jim, your note reminds me that technology enables us to create crap at the speed of light. We must first create a simple, clear, focused process, then leverage technology to enhance our execution. Then the results can truly be amazing. As always, your comments provoke such a great thoughts.

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