The term “commercialization” involves introducing products, services, platforms into the marketplace for revenue generation. That sounds a lot like selling, but it’s not. Not at all.
Commercialization involves meeting business milestones, instead of chasing quarterly sales quotas and commissions that go into your own pocket. Commercialization involves interacting with key stakeholders, investors, C-level management as you meet those business milestones. Commercialization typically is associated with the startup community, rather than the wide world of Fortune-Something selling.
Commercialization involves non-traditional sellers, like you, who are the creators, innovators, engineers, generators of those products, platforms, services. Except you are called to do that Yin-Yang thing: Sell. Sell your concept and idea to investors and early adopters. Leverage influence across social platforms to engage customers. Allocate resources appropriately and effectively to manage churn. Demonstrate your ability to lead, rather than conduct business like a deer-in-headlights.
No matter what term you use to pretty up the process of generating investors and customers for your business, selling is involved. Have you, as a traditional salesperson, ever considered yourself as a commercialization engineer for your company? You are, after all, contributing to the revenue stream that not only sustains your commission check, but your employer’s infrastructure, as well.
Engineering commercialization, rather than simply selling, makes your brain twist in several directions, does it not? I hope so. Today’s global economy calls for traditional sales people who are capable of being nimble and flexible to market conditions. Today’s global economy calls for traditional sales cultures who have taken a page out of entrepreneurship and asked their people to provide a new type of selling experience for customer engagement and loyalty.
Today’s traditional seller should consider striving to become the go-to person for their customers. Provide insight when they ask how doing business with you influences their company’s viability in the global marketplace. When’s the last time one of your customers called you to have that type of high-level discussion? Chances are, they probably called you because of a service delivery issue.
When your traditional selling role becomes commercialization engineer, you no longer look, and sound, like a talking head to customers. There’s tremendous opportunity to impact your local economy, for starters.
Your taking that perspective injects an altruistic component into the traditional concept of selling. Your capabilities at traditional selling can become much more in today’s marketplaces. If I’ve just made you feel a bit uncomfortable, that’s good. The majority of you are so, so much more than your traditional selling role calls for.
Engineering commercialization, instead of traditional selling, may lead you in 2014 towards far greater success as a business person of worth. How might you begin retooling and recalibrating in the New Year? Stay tuned…..
Babette N. Ten Haken, President of Sales Aerobics for Engineers®, LLC, catalyzes business transition, startup growth, and professional development. She works with non-traditional sellers, engineers, manufacturers, and technical startups. This article first appeared in the November, 2013 edition of Top Sales World and is republished with the author’s permission.