My friend Lance Knight wrote this very provocative piece recently and I am including both the text and the link.
I have a really deep background in CRM and I have read The Challenger Sale (I did a summary of that book using a new tool that lets you zoom in and zoom out of detail – message me if you are interested in that) and it struck me that what Lance is suggesting is on the one hand kind of obvious, and on the other hand somewhat shocking that no one has done this yet. So have a read and let us know what you think.
My mindset is moving toward developing a more collaborative approach toward sales and diversifying the accountability. In most organizations, today the salesperson is ultimately the responsible individual for generating revenue. This puts a lot of pressure on the salesperson and creates autocracy in the sales process.
The challenge to this is the days of one salesperson, a bag full of brushes or a vacuum cleaner going door-to-door is no longer here. Today selling is a team sport you have different people within your organization that you need to involve to close a deal.
In software sales, you need a sales engineer, delivery consultant, business development person and sometimes a marketing person is involved, but they have no accountability like the salesperson.
As a sales engineer, I always felt like I was a lackey to the salesperson which created friction for me and some of the older style salespeople would treat me like a wrench.One day a salesperson said to me, I do not make PowerPoint you do, I only inked deals. We know those days are no longer around. It just did not feel collaborative.
So, my mind has moved to this model of creating sales teams. Sales teams would share the responsibility and compensation i.e. commissions.
So maybe put in place ceremonies may be like those in the agile world. For example,
Create Kanban boards for the team to manage the work like prepping for a demos, preparing PowerPoints, replying to RFI’s and legal reviews. Some CRM systems have Kanban functionality already.
Have a daily standup as you are working deals. Every day that team would meet and prioritize their backlog because prospects are consistently prioritizing their needs.
Hold retrospectives when deals close help develop a playbook.
You could start to implement some basic lean principles as well from a team perspective and automate and reduce waste. Some of these concepts are kind of in my book driving the technical sale
Maybe this is a radical thought, and I am interested in vetting this out. Please comment.