Welcome to the new Koru Consulting website

You have been re-directed here as a result of the integration of Koru Consulting, The SalesPulse Academy and Productive Sales Professionals, bringing you all the benefits of our individual expertise under one brand.




As a young sales trainee (too) many years ago we were always told to provide our customers with different options, with a choice so that we could differentiate ourselves by showing them that we understood that there was more than one way to solve a problem. After all we salespeople in the IT Industry knew more than our customers. That was true in the seventies but not now. Anyone can be an expert, be more expert than us; all they have to do is to put their mind to it. They rule out the options and come up with the solution which is why customers don’t want choice……….they want what they want. Companies that understand this and can execute to support their customers will be the winners.


What are the attributes of such companies? Why are they successful? What makes them different? Rather than just giving you the answers, which we will later, have a look at the table below and position your company where you truly believe you should be. To help you, think of the bottom of tier 4 as providing commodity products; think of Tier 4 as where you are integrating your products and/or services with those of your customer and jointly taking them to market. Within each tier there is of course a scale; for example if you sell only products then you would be towards the bottom of the tier 4 scale, but if you were to provide supporting or complementary products you would be in the middle and if say you provided installation services you would be towards the top of that scale.


Price Differentiator

Value Add


Mutual Benefit

Joint Venture

Simple service(s)

Specific service(s)

Shared Service(s)

New service(s)


Every deal is a battle

Less Competition

No Competition


New Customers

Cost of sale is high

Cost of sale reduces

Higher Margins

Wealth Creation

Tier 4

Tier 3

Tier 2

Tier 1


We call this grid the Value Journey, or in Key Account Management terms “the Vendor to Partner” Journey; the objective of the journey is to build a sustainable competitive position in specific customers or markets. Over 90% of organisations are in tiers one and two with the majority, 70% in tier one.  By establishing where you are, you can start to see how you can, if you so wish improve your market positioning. One could quite easily question the rationale and say “as there are so few companies in tiers one and two, why bother”? The answer is simple the further you can move your company to the right, the greater the rewards which are evidenced by improvements in turnover, margins and cost of sale.

This is all very interesting, but what has it got to do with the title of the article or with the questions regarding attributes etc? It is very simple and no doubt you know the answer. It is all about obsessive customer focus, customer knowledge and understanding, customer service, delivering value and mutual benefits which together create superior relationships and most importantly loyalty. In a recent Accenture report it was stated that over 60% of CSOs (Sales Managers/Directors in our speak) admitted they had lost sales because their competitors had established better business relationships. The same report stated that P & G had 500 people and Johnson & Johnson had 200 people deployed in WalMart. This investment has allowed both companies to take over the work and business of their competitors. Customer intimacy is the only sustainable form of differentiation and it is the most suitable form of transport to move you along the Value Journey.

In summary the better you know your customers and their business the more likely you will know what they want, and the more likely you are to make that want, something you can supply.

Continuing the customer theme our Sales Conference in June is built around the subject of “The best of the best in customer engagement”. We have top level speakers who we know will provide great subject matter, and if like us you really do believe the customer is king, this no charge event will provide you with great insights into developing a customer intimacy strategy and accelerate your progress on the Value Journey