Do you know how to problem-solve? Your colleagues are trying to solve problems, just as you are. The language you may use to express yourselves may not sound the same. The professional disciplines in which you were trained probably seem like they are worlds apart. Yet when it boils down to it, you both are directing your sales and technical professional expertise towards providing the best solution, and revenue-generating outcome, for your customer. Your colleagues are trying to solve problems, just as you are. That’s one of the common denominators between the both of your disciplines. Did you realize that?
Yes, you may utilize different tools and algorithms from your respective toolkits. Some of you may not even realize you have tools and algorithms to utilize in the first place!
Ultimately, your willingness to put yourself, professionally, on the line on a daily basis to advocate for your own professionalism, and that of your customers, is what drives all of us towards continuous self-improvement.
In order to gain a better perspective, you may want to throw your version of what The Problem looks like – to you – out on the business development table, and let everyone chew on it for a while. What does everyone else’s internal interpretation of The Problem look and sound like? Hmmm, I wonder what your customers would say about your collective version of Their Problem.
Perhaps you need to include them in the collective, collaborative discussion.
Depending on where we all sit around the business development table, we see the same things, only differently. The only way to achieve rich input and insight is to go forth and ask for it. That means going outside the building, outside the university, outside the city, outside the state… You get it.
Common denominator mindset is a tremendous way of differentiating yourself from your competitors. It’s an excellent mans of conducting business by bringing together technical, marketing, sales, finance, manufacturing, operations, and logistics resources to work together in providing solutions for your customers.
Common denominator mindset is a provocative means of deconstructing corporate silos and legacy mindset as well. Everyone ends up thinking slightly differently and communicating more succinctly so everyone seated around the business table can understand what needs to be communicated.
And all you thought you were supposed to be doing for output is tactical problem-solving.
If you are squirming in your chair as you read this post, perhaps this type of business development-focused, collaborative model isn’t for you. This model self-selects for technical and non-technical folks who are receptive to and excel at interacting productively with each other and with customers. It is something learned, as well as it is something innate to those of us who have always been curious and inquisitive about how things really work and interact.
There’s been a lot of internet chatter lately about what is, and isn’t, status quo and what “that” really means. In a sense, status quo describes not only the way things are, but the way things were when they were measured: when that proverbial snapshot of a business or a process was taken.
Nothing is static, not even business development. Even the process of observation and data recording impacts the picture of what is taken. Hmmmm…. Something else to chew on.
That being the case, I’d say you and your colleagues have a lot to talk about, in terms of recognizing the common denominators running across how you collaborate to problem-solve.
What will you be working on, together, this week?
Babette N. Ten Haken, Founder & President of Sales Aerobics for Engineers, LLC, traverses the sales-engineering interface®, bringing entrepreneurial mojo to small and mid-sized businesses in the manufacturing and service sectors. She builds vibrant revenue-producing business strategies for technical startups. Babette was named one of the 2013 Top Sales & Marketing Influencers.