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February 04, 2005

Sales Learning Cycle

Many of us are familiar with the MLC (manufacturing learning cycles) which basically provides a framework to understand how manufacturing costs decline as volume increases.  Mark Leslie (of Veritas fame) has applied some of that thinking to software sales and I think its brilliant!!! There were many moments reading this slide deck that I hit my head saying wish I had known this a few years go ;-)

Some of the salient points Mark makes are:

  1. There *IS* a sales learning cycle for selling software
  2. The curve is different for different categories of products e.g. faster better cheaper, innovation, brave new world, etc.
  3. VC's and entrepreneurs tend be too optimistic and do not plan for "learning"
  4. Rather than acknowleding the "learning curve" we tend to staff sales on a capacity basis and then wonder why we missed the number and burned so much cash
  5. Early on we need to hire different kind of sales reps (one who can learn and iterate)

My summary does not do the powerpoint justice.  Here is the complete presentation 
Download markLeslieSLCslides.pdf

Posted by Venky Ganesan at 04:03 PM in software | Permalink


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