There’s a great story about Larry Ellison which may, or may not, be true. The story goes that at each Oracle Sales conference Larry announces the new strategy:
The strategy is to sell more!
This is essentially the Move Fresh strategy. There certainly have been occasions where business school strategists have suggested that some of the things we do lack strategic coherence and I think that Kevin and I would probably agree that they were correct.
But at heart we are traders. If there is million dollars to be made from an Indecent Proposal that is a completely departure from our strategy then we will accept the cash.
On the other hand there have been opportunities that have arisen for much smaller sums that we have turned down for being out of alignment with our strategy.
The much bigger group of possibilities we turn down are chances to increase sales without a gross margin. There are many publicly traded companies that make a similar mistake. Of course we can make sales rocket by selling below cost price but that’s easy.
A genuine business has to create value. That’s where strategy meets sales.