Microstiff - Microsoft Outings of the Third Kind

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Microsoft as a Sales Organization – Bushes and Salesmen – Who’s Beatin’ Who?

A recent Mini-Microsoft poster wrote:

So, with all this talk about partners being buttered up and the programmers being starved poor - do the engineers realize that unless the partners (well at least, the better ones) were selling the product they are building, no one gets paid? Partners will undoubtedly get paid more than your top notch software engineer for a good reason too - they rake in the money with their skills. Most engineers wouldn't know their a-hole from a hole in the ground when it comes to selling or communicating with people.”

Well, dear writer, you are correct. Sales people DO GET PAID MORE than most folks – not just engineers – because of what they must do. Imagine the average bear getting up every morning and facing people they’ve never met before to convince them that they need something you, and quite likely others, have. Not for the faint of heart.

Not so fast! What if you have products that bring in 80% of your revenues and profits that DON’T REQUIRE THE CONVINCING OF OTHERS TO SELL THEM? You know, the ubiquitous and competition-less Microsoft Windows, Internet Explorer and Office. Does this make you a salesman or an ORDER TAKER? I am going to go with the latter.

So, the case can be made that 80% of Microsoft’s revenues come from products that SELL THEMSELVES! This means that a Microsoft engineer would MOST ASSUREDLY RECOGNIZE his a-hole from a HOLE IN THE GROUND when it comes to selling ALMOST ALL of Microsoft’s products!

This writer, in fact, pulled aside three (3) Microsoft engineers and performed a little test. Each was given a copy of Vista installed on a new OEM PC and then asked to convince the OEM to purchase the copy of Vista. Each succeeded by MERELY POINTING to the PC. No verbal communication was required!

Next, each engineer was asked, when confronted by a black hole making a huge sucking sound just outside the entrance to Microsoft Redmond and just a little left of the flagpole, "which is your very own a-hole and which is a hole in the ground?" To a PERSON, each responded correctly. So, you see, Microsoft engineers CAN communicate successfully about their bleeding edge products.

Not so fast, you say! What about other Microsoft products. Doesn’t it take a capable sales professional to sell Dynamics, for instance? Why, yes, it does.

“C’mon pardner, let’s saddle up and mosey on down to that huge black hole with the sucking sound near the flagpole. I heard tell that’s the sound of that there Dynamics sucking down the Office “bottom line”. Pshaw!”

“Why, Ned, them things just sell themselves, don’t they?”

“Golly, you’d think so, Newt. Them Great Plains folks didn’t seem to have any trouble. Maybe we should see how they did it. Whadaya say, Newt?”

“Heck, no, Ned. We got our Innovator reputations to protect. We kin figure it out ourselves. After all, we's highly-paid, cold-calling, desire-building professional closers; them ones Microsoft thought they's a gettin' when they hired us. Ain’t we, Ned? Ned? Oh, my gawd! That there SUCKING HOLE done swallered Ned right up!”

Mini-Microsoft: Microsoft FY07Q1 Results
Mini-Microsoft: Ba-Da-????

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