Salespeople, We Don’t Need No Stinking Salespeople!

Selling is Dead

It’s true, Blueleaf has no salespeople.

But why? Are we a bunch of hippies uninterested in profit? Given that I spent time as an investment banker, not likely. Does our team have a thing against polyester? Well, maybe. But that’s not the whole story.

Our goal is to create happy customers. So I have a question for you: when was the last time you thought, ‘I’m so glad that salesperson called!?’ Our team had trouble remembering too. In fact, we don’t believe that traditional selling is an effective way to make people happy.

So if old school selling isn’t the answer, what is?

Service Rocks

It’s simple really. We treat people as customers before they buy anything from us. We want all Blueleafers to create relationships, deliver service and demonstrate value before asking for anything. In other words – we’ve decided to prove our mettle and walk the walk from the first time you ask about Blueleaf.

Blueleaf Coaches

We do have some special people assigned to make sure this all goes well. They are our Blueleaf Coaches. Their responsibility is to make sure that every time you deal with Blueleaf (as a customer or potential customer) you get the most out of it.

That’s it. Service over sales. We’re excited by the approach and how well so many of you have responded to it. We’ll keep working hard to refine things and try to improve as we go. We think we’re off to a great start. And, as ever, thanks for all the support.

John Prendergast John Prendergast is the co-founder and CEO of Blueleaf. He serves on the board of WiredTiger, a developer cloud optimized databases. He is also the founder and organizer of the Lean Startup Circle Boston. In addition to his decade and a half as an entrepreneur, John spent nearly a decade as an investment banker and financial advisor.
  • John

    It seems the difference between Salespeople and Coaches is semantic. Most good salespeople are listeners/educators who’s “responsibility is to make sure that every time you deal with XXXXX (as a customer or potential customer) you get the most out of it.”

  • John

    It seems the difference between Salespeople and Coaches is semantic. Most good salespeople are listeners/educators who’s “responsibility is to make sure that every time you deal with XXXXX (as a customer or potential customer) you get the most out of it.”

    • I think the difference would be semantic if it were, in fact, only a name change. This isn’t a comment on the quality of person represented by a salesperson. Like any role, the good ones are great. This is about changing the roles, responsibilities and system in which these people work.

      While we didn’t get into it in the post, there are significant process and responsibility differences between our coaches and typical sales structure. For one, the incentive compensation model revolves around customer happiness not deals. Another difference is the coaches responsibility for service inquiries (along with everyone else in the company). There are many more differences we’ve built into the system and many more will evolve. It’s just a different approach described in a post with a headline inspired by Mel Brooks.