Guest Column | June 24, 2013

A Walkthrough Of A Broken Organization

By Ken Thoreson, Managing Director, Acumen Management Group Ltd.,

Strategic sales management is often a weak link in solution provider companies. For the past 14 years I have been working all across North America and internationally, meeting, speaking and consulting with organizations of all sizes and areas of focus. While every client engagement is unique, some problems are common to many corporate cultures and tend to prevent a company from reaching its business potential.

Let’s take a walk through a hypothetical client site that illustrates many of the problems I’ve encouered over the years. We’ll use “Law and Order” rules: “Although inspired in part by true incidents, the following story is fictional and does not depict any actual person or event.”

Walking into the front office, there are a few chairs, a few outdated vendor awards on the walls and employees pass visitor without offering a greeting or showing much expression or enthusiasm. This is not a good indicator for the type of reaction the office evokes from prospects who visit.


First, I ask for the president. I am warmly greeted and taken to the back office, where we begin to chat about his business, his vision, his frustrations and the lack of business profitability. My experienced ears hear: “they” just don’t get it, “they” really don’t work hard enough, “they” really don’t know how to sell what we do d “they” don’t seem to care about the business like I do. He is also concerned that his sales manager is focused on functions that have nothing to do with sales.

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