Reptilian strategy

Reptiles lay dozens of eggs in the hope that a few will survive, mammals generally give birth to a few young, which are then nurtured. Similarly, corporate sales and supplier strategies tend at their core to be either a numbers' game or involve more intensive relationship building.

by HBS Working Knowledge, 6 March 2006
Last Updated: 23 Jul 2013

Some reps are relatively passive in market development and happen on opportunities almost by chance. Others are more mammalian: they invest in ways to control their selling environment. For the mammalian sales rep, that maintenance consists of working with prospects to increase account penetration. The moral for managers is that while those with reptilian approaches to business can survive, they are at the mercy of their environment. Mammal-like strategies may require more discipline, but mean that they create their own success.

In reality, most companies and even individuals will be a mix of both.

Source: Is your organisation reptile or mammal?
Jonathan Byrnes HBS Working Knowledge, 6 March 2006

Review by Steve Lodge

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