You have no doubt heard the saying ‘discovery is not about seeking out new lands, but looking at existing lands with new eyes’. Well, that pretty much sums up the rationale behind lateral, or creative thinking.
When something is very familiar, it can be a challenge to look at it a-fresh. But it is only by so doing that new opportunities and ways of doing things can be explored. So, to apply some creative thinking to selling we look at it as the engine of the business.
The analogy of sales as the engine of the business works well, because not only does it connotate the role of selling, but also the engine-like characteristics of the effective sales organisation (effective, consistent repeatable process, etc.).
It also enables managers to look at their sales organisation in a more objective manner, free from the issues of personalities and politics that can often cloud the issue of sales performance.
Thinking laterally about selling and the concept of the sales engine also enables managers to ask thought provoking questions such as; ‘is the sales engine firing on all cylinders’, ‘what MPG is my sales or marketing delivering’, ‘is the sales organisation in need of a tune-up’.