Aug 13, 2020Liked by John Philpin

For several decades, I was on the “buy-side” of technology products and services. True then, true now: there are no tricks or shortcuts in good sales strategies, and the vocabulary for those strategies remains sorely inadequate.

Perhaps this seems quaint, but I’ve long advocated that there is a *relationship* between buyer and seller, and the only useful advice to beginning salespersons is to first, nurture and then, manage those relationships.

The proponents of funnel analytics suffer from a long history of useless terms (and other magical incantations): the product is a service, value selling, find a need and fill it (etc.) are all reductive, avoiding any discussion of relationships, and the keystone aspects of healthy relationships: honesty, integrity, listening – all of the elements that build trust, over time.

Sure, I understand the urge to provide novice sales teams with a methodology that gives them confidence as they charge into a potential customer’s conference room.

We might as well tell those teams that successful sales are governed by the phases of the moon. In that regard, for those who remain starved for Helpful Hints: according to "The Old Farmer’s Almanac" of 2020: the best days for launching a sales project next month are September 19-21.

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Aug 7, 2020Liked by John Philpin

The Fordist, industrial, mechanical, and Newtonian notion of a business funnel is obsolete. It has been supplanted by complexity and networks. Most people do know this yet. Here's a screed...


and some background.


Another very annoying marketing term is 'penetration.' As if markets are fixed, static, monoliths. Gee, if we could just 'penetrate' the market everything would be fine. My typical reaction to this dopey term is a rhetorical question, "Why do you want to f*ck the customer?"

Let's retire funnel and penetrate forever.

Soon I'll be covering the most dangerous word known: community. It needs to be retired too, and fast.

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Aug 7, 2020Liked by John Philpin

Excellent People First!

Having had to present my sales funnels to managers, CEOs, CROs, boards, it’s always interesting to see how people think of these funnels. And now I see people are selling them! For 999!

Having read Aldous Huxley as an (impressionable) youth, I always think of him and the doors of perception when I hear “funnel”. Huxley put forward the idea of the human mind as a “reducing valve” that funnels the super-consciousness of the mind at large. Meta funnel indeed!


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Nice read and we prefer to think of it as a conversation with quality content that creates deeper reflection through curiosity around a key question as part of building a supportive community.

If we have the quality content, it implies we have quality people and a community of practice will continue to camp around it. We can then position, price and iterate from there with the community.

People do pay and its usually for quality content and people to learn from as a result of this.

Will leave the funnel for cooking.

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