If your business model separates the Sales Hunters from the Gatherers, the Doers from the Sellers, perhaps it’s time to make these relationships more fluid, instead of siloed.
If you are seeking your next woolly mammoth, or new business acquisition, it takes more than your brains and brute sales hunters strength, or your engineering nimbleness, to close the sale. There’s the matter of how to process, throughput, and implement the object of your hunt. How is what you learned on that hunt shared throughout your organization, or tribe, to create consistent success in future new business acquisition?
While every woolly mammoth may be one-and-done until the food supply runs out, those early hunters and gathers were doing more than just sitting around munching crisps in between hunts. There was future planning (strategy), tracking migration patterns (trending), improvement of tools involved in the hunt (process and continuous improvement), tribal health and possibly expansion of membership (scalability) to consider.
Those early tribes involved everyone working collaboratively. There was understanding of each member’s area of specialization and how What They Knew related to What Needed to be Accomplished. Yes, once domestication was achieved, along with population explosion, cultures developed with hierarchies, silos, Us versus Them mindset, and well, that’s for another blog post.
If you were hunting a difficult target in a complex setting, you needed a robust plan with spears and other tools which would be up to the task. That meant sitting around the fire with the left-brained tool makers, collaborating on how your right-brained creative hunting needs could be met by their designs to achieve the desired strategic outcome: survival, sustainability.
You have the potential for that same type of niche-focused collaboration within your own company culture. In reality, what does your sustainable tribe look like?
As sales folks, how well do you collaborate with your tool making engineering and technical colleagues? To you, they always seem to mess up the sales process, don’t they? Perhaps you brought them into the sustainability equation too late. Perhaps you didn’t really understand, in the first place, how to fully utilize the tools they provided for you. Perhaps they didn’t explain how robust their engineering designs were, so you could create a strategic, instead of tactical, solution for your customers.
Perhaps you both didn’t fully collaborate across the interface between sales and engineering. You both have a lot in common: you sustain your organizations by driving revenue, profitability and innovation.
When you think about your right and left brained colleagues like that, it seems like the whole can become far greater than the sum of the individual parts. That sounds like a winning – and sustainable – business equation to me.
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 creating sustainable legacy business models. Her book on sales and engineering collaboration strategies, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.com.