The IIoT sales team meeting is a sacred, collaborative and evolving workspace. Especially within industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) environments. Interestingly, these meetings represent the Future of Work.
Are you ready? Are you comfortable working in this professional environment?
Well, a lot has happened as we start Year 9 of the Sales Aerobics for Engineers® Blog. When I began this blog in 2009, Industrie 4.0 or the Industrial Internet of Things were not even recognized as formal business, engineering and technical environments.
In 2009, the thought of a sales team meeting being run by an engineer was perceived as somewhat radical. It still is.
After all, do sales and marketing folks still have a habit of not even trying to understand what engineers are saying? Then again, let’s face it. It is not easy to understand tech verbiage, including all those IT acronyms. Alternatively, do IT (information technology) and engineering team members still regard themselves as the smartest people in the room (which they are) as they remain professionally aloof from the business types?
Sigh. Then as now, what happens at the end of the day? Are you and your colleagues more comfortable hunkering down in comfortable, traditional departmental silos and sticking to your own kind?
Consider that you and I had our first conversation about this phenomenon a while ago. My 2009 post asked you to consider What if an Engineer ran the next Sales and Marketing Meeting? Together, we concluded this meeting would be:
- Efficient and conclusive from an engineering perspective.
- Boring / not entertaining from a sales and marketing perspective.
- Unproductive since, post-meeting, everyone would retreat back to their departments and professional mindset and status quo habits and hope they wouldn’t have to repeat this type of meeting again.
- Non-innovative because the meeting format was a novelty rather than the norm.
- As a result, engineering would remain unremarkable and uncompetitive.
- Consequently, sales would drop off because there was nothing new to sell or market.
Nothing anyone would voluntarily sign up for. Unfortunately, this scenario is extremely realistic for companies with entrenched mindset and a customer base full of repeat business. They feel safe where they are. Is this you?
However, then there is the competition. Some of your competitors are taking action in response to client opportunities within the industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) ecosystem. They have course corrected.
How? By taking the time to jettison the Elephant in the Room. That Elephant represents a huge impediment to productivity and profitability. Unhealthy, status quo IIoT sales team meeting dynamics keep you stuck spinning your business wheels in Yesterday’s mud. Sound familiar?
Isn’t it about time you hauled yourself out of the muck you are mired in? Download this IIoT team assessment tool. Gain forward momentum. It’s about time you did something else, isn’t it?
Today more than ever before, your CEO just may be an engineer-turned-business person. Not only are they running the IIoT sales team meeting. This technical and engineering professional runs your company and pays your salary.
As a result, you have no room to hide, no matter if you are a marketing, sales, IT (information technology) or engineering professional. No kidding, we no longer operate a la 2009 standard operating proceedure. It’s the industrial Internet of Things, baby. Consequently, there is an even greater sense of urgency to remain competitive, collaborative and innovative.
Can you feel the difference in the workplace? Are you comfortable, conversant and collaborative operating within this environment?
For starters, IIoT sales team meetings no longer are strictly all about yesterday’s sales dynamics. Then again, professionals seated around the IIoT business table are hybridized and collaborative. In addition, yesterday’s status quo habits and Us versus Them mindset are recognized as even bigger impediments to performance and profitability than they ever were before.
Instead, the relentless pace and cadence of industrial Internet of Things technological advances keeps everyone on their toes, continuously anticipating “What’s Next?”
That interface between technical and non-technical mindset is where collaborative magic happens, resulting in customer success and customer retention.
For many of you reading this blog, whether you started in 2009 or today, you understand that the workplace is changing. It is multigenerational, multidisciplinary and highly dynamic. Things change hourly, most certainly daily. You must continuously learn to thrive and contribute.
Consequently, today’s IIoT sales team meeting just may be run by an engineer. Because her hybridized approach to seeking enduring and robust solutions is just what the doctor ordered to drive customer success and customer retention.
Tomorrow, your IIoT sales team meeting just may be run by another cross-functional team member, depending on the questions asked and expertise required.
There is no option for opting out or being a spectator. Certainly, being bored only makes you uncompetitive and unengaged.
Your choice. The question in 2017 remains the same as it was in 2009. Except there is a greater sense of urgency. What if the next IIoT sales team meeting is run by an engineer? In fact, what if YOU are that engineer running that sales meeting? How does it feel? What did it take to get where you are today? More importantly, where are you taking everyone on the team?
Babette Ten Haken is a catalyst, corporate strategist and facilitator. She writes, speaks, consults and coaches about how cross-functional team collaboration revolutionizes the industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) value chain for customer loyalty, customer success and customer retention. Her One Millimeter Mindset™ programs draw from her background as a scientist, sales professional, enterprise-level facilitator, Six Sigma Green Belt and certified DFSS Voice of the Customer practitioner. Babette’s playbook of technical / non-technical collaboration hacks, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon. Visit the Free Resources section of her website for more tools.
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