Traits of Top Salespeople

"Top salespeople are detail-oriented: they pay attention to the small things that can make a big difference."

Explanation Of The Glue Works, Inc. Case Study

Explanation Of The Glue Works, Inc. Case Study

This is a week-by-week case study of four salespeople

  • Amy Gatherer,
  • Ben Farmer,
  • Carla Hunter,
  • and Dave Trapper

as they sell to Glue Works, Inc.

Each week, these individual salespeople present the status of their territories to their managers. We will focus on their discussions of selling to Glue Works.

If you have joined this case study in mid-campaign, we encourage you to go back to the opening video where the description of the challenge is laid out. We then encourage you to continue from the beginning.

We hope that you enjoy this case study and you learn some valuable skills. To interpret what each salesperson is doing correctly or incorrectly, we suggest that you read the book Eliminate Your Competition which is available wherever books are sold as paperbacks or ebooks.

Video Script

This case study will help you to understand the Trapper selling methodology. This fictionalized case study is used throughout the book Eliminate Your Competition to explain the more difficult concepts.

The company in this case study is Glue Works. 

Glue Works doesn’t know how to achieve one of its major goals and is looking for outside assistance.

In this case study, we follow four different salespeople who sell management consulting software that can help companies focus and align their products. This type of software replaces management consultants. In this case study, there are no major technical limitations in any of the four software products. Any of the four products will work, and therefore it is primarily sales skill that differentiates the products and influences the sale. While each product will work, there are individual features of each of these offerings that can be used to differentiate the products.

The four salespeople in this story are:

  • Amy Gatherer,
  • Ben Farmer
  • Carla Hunter,
  • Dave Trapper

Ivytown is probably very similar to your city. It has its problems with keeping roads paved, keeping its parks clean, and providing adequate opportunities for its youth. Ivytown has had its share of very good mayors in the past, and it has also had a few mayors that probably should never have been elected. There are a few medium-sized universities in town that occasionally have a good year with one of their sports teams, and this incites quite a bit of pride in the community. Like your home city, the top weatherman can never seem to predict the weather but is still popular.

One of the largest companies in Ivytown is Glue Works ink. Glue Works is one of the largest manufacturers of adhesives in the world. The company started about 100 years ago and now has a very diverse line of glues and adhesives. Its products are sold to consumers and industrial companies. Their consumer products are a hit with young students, and the marketing of the consumer products is imaginative. The industrial customers range from book publishers to automotive companies. Their tagline on their website is “We Keep Everything Together.”

Amy Gatherer works for Everything Consulting. Glue Works is the largest of the five customers that she manages for Everything Consulting. Glue Works is about 40% of her revenue. 

Everything Consulting is a global consulting company with many different practices. Most of their revenue comes from the teams of consultants that advise companies on a wide variety of disciplines. A few years ago, Everything Consulting acquired a Scandinavian company that developed artificial intelligence software to help companies align the skills of individual people and job functions. This product is quite good, but it is competitive with the consulting operations of Everything Consulting. The software product, therefore, is typically only discussed with new prospects and not existing customers.

Ben Farmer works for DayDream Consulting. Ben has sold a few small consulting projects to Glue Works. Ben always goes to Glue Works on Mondays; he has a cup of coffee with Steve and Alice in manufacturing. Steve is an old college friend, and they enjoy talking about the status of their alma mater’s sports teams. Steve was instrumental in helping Ben get the previous consulting engagements. Alice attends the same church as Ben.

DayDream Consulting is a regional consulting company with extremely talented consultants. They also re-sell, in an exclusive territory, a software product that uses artificial intelligence techniques to help companies align the skills of individual people and job functions. This product is quite good, and the publisher of the software is willing to help any of their resellers successfully sell the product. DayDream Consulting doesn’t get many leads for the software, but it does receive a steady stream of RFPs (Requests For Proposal) to fill out. DayDream is very diligent about filling out these RFPs, but Ben regularly complains that they need better resources to complete those RFPs.

Carla Hunter works for Focused Software, where she won the top salesperson award for two of the last four years. Focused Software creates a software product that uses artificial intelligence techniques to help companies align the skills of individual people and job functions. Carla loves working for Focused Software because they give her a lot of latitude in going after opportunities, give her well-written collateral, and are extremely flexible on pricing and terms. Focused Software has never sold anything to Glue Works.

Dave Trapper works for Premium Software. Premium Software creates a software product that uses artificial intelligence techniques to help companies align the skills of individual people and job functions. Dave doesn’t think Premium Software has great marketing and always wishes for more leads, but knows that he needs to generate his deals. Dave is one of the top salespeople in the company and understands that the company’s management is at his disposal to help him win business. Premium Software has never sold anything to Glue Works.

We will watch these four salespeople as they discuss their territories with their management over the majority of a year.

You may purchase my book, Eliminate Your Competition, from your favorite book retailer. The ebook version is available at the most popular retailers such as Apple, Amazon, Barnes & Noble. The paperback version is also widely available at such retailers as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Books A Million.

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