Compartmentalisation of Sales, The Quintessential Salesperson & Challenges Of Designing Sales Engine
In the last several years - there has been a rapid compartmentalisation of Sales roles across verticals & through various skills (and, each of those parts is a big business in itself). Most companies (small or big) are adopting different parts of this spectrum - partly due to aggressive marketing by the specialised firms offering these Sales related services & also based on accessibility to such threads, through some channels of convenience!
Anyhow, this post is not meant to be detailing on that... There are many who have been highlighting this structure & its deployment from different perspectives.
The quintessential Salesperson seems to be doing all of it in that canvas and more – (giving you the romanticised Salesperson who is your rainmaker & is turning out magic!)
Facing customers everyday in a new place
Weaving the customer needs with what can be offered by the company
Making appropriate proposition which will take her/him to get the customer to see value & commit
Pushing the limits of offerings from company and driving the requirements of customers - in constantly searching for the winning value proposition
Facing umpteen objections and getting hope to win over any of the varied logic
Engaged with prospects as a primary liaison, throughout the Salescycle till long after the sale is over
Facilitating through prices & its challenges with competing offers
Juggling through a limited number of prospects in an uncertain confirmation period
Mobilising people & resources within the company to deliver on the proposed engagement & drive that value to make the next sale
Working with customer teams to get them feel the success as much as what his/her company records
Engineering organisation-wide results through such a team is certainly not easy when you are designing the company's customer acquisition & revenue generation.
To build a system out of all of this suite of skills and deliver repeatable outcomes...
To tune this setup of unique capabilities for changing needs of the company & its leadership vagaries...
To keep such Salespersons going for longer periods of times with their best outputs and manage the out-of-form zones through the year...
And, of course – getting them committed to your business/company again & again…
For the purpose of this writeup, am not getting into sales operations, enablement tools and other systems which seem to be making mild or lateral attempts at bringing some sort of an order and seemingly provide some sort of visibility into such a specialised-skill-based engine. Suffice to say that I see many small-mid-sized companies & their business leadership / promoters adopting many marketed-approaches leading to a scattering of resources with questionable results into business. You will also find enormous flux amongst the sales organisation & its operating mechanism – leading to quite a bit of ‘continuous chaos’ in the system (mostly, visible to customers & partners who interact with this engine).
It takes a lot to manage this Sales engine and give the reliable parameters needed for running a business. This is where companies have the bigger challenge and most times it works out to be a choice between options of best-amongst-available-assets, avoid-too-much-disruption & ease-of-connect-&-control.
Thus making a strong case for designing the Sales engine specifically for your business & plans/expectations. The Sales team & its extended arms in the engine are to be configured for appropriate customer experience alongwith running the business as per sales requirements of the company.
Just because a certain mechanism of efforts-resources-activities produced result in one situation, repeating the same in another place will not make it any easier to get to the objective! Every-time your priorities in Sales have to be redrawn or the emphasis on certain requirements of Sales are revisited, you will need to calibrate the Sales engine / function to give results, accordingly.