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Disruption Selling: Building the Sales Organization for Failing Fast and Often


“To enter the mainstream market is an act of aggression. The companies who have already established relationships with your target customer will resent your intrusion and do everything they can to shut you out. The customers themselves will be suspicious of you as a new and untried player in their marketplace. No one wants your presence. You are an invader.”

Geoffrey A. Moore, Crossing the Chasm


When the Disruptive Innovation hits the market, the Disruptor is welcomed by Innovators and Early Adopters, featured in the media and lauded as the next big thing that will change the world.


Unfortunately, the reception by Mainstream customers is best case cool, worst case hostile. However, these will be the ones deciding about the Disruptor’s future market share so we must find a way to convince them of the business case.


In Disruption Selling we do this by a series of controlled experiments, working backwards from the customer, defining assumptions, running sales campaigns, and learning from the results. Many of these sales campaigns fail (otherwise they are not an experiment Jeff Bezos would say). The more and the faster they fail the better the chances of finding the value propositions that work.


In other words: The Disruptor’s sales organization must be built for failing fast and often!


Which is completely counterintuitive.


In Disruption Selling we achieve this by defining customer portfolios top down, assigning them to multi-disciplinary portfolio teams and then let these teams experiment freely. We instrument their sales campaigns so we can watch their performance in real-time. The ones that work we replicate at other customer portfolios, the ones that don’t we analyze to correct their assumptions.


Download this Executive Summary to learn about this approach in more detail.

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