Especially within today’s digitally-connected, globally competitive industrial Internet of Things ecosystem. Say that phrase three times in a row, folks, before you’ve had four cups of coffee.
For starters, sales stupidity is not confined to the sales profession.
In fact, sales stupidity resides across every organization and departmental function. However, as workplaces and workspaces become increasingly connected, sales stupidity has no safe place to hide, anymore.
First, software and machine interfaces increasingly collide with the human factor within work environments. As a result, holes are poked in those traditional, legacy departmental silos within which many employees hide.
Then, not only do people work alongside each other. Also, they collaborate with each other, productively and profitably. Then again, each employees’ co-workers and collaborators just might be machines.
Now, let’s consider how those machine-based co-workers utilize software interfaces to converse across different machine types. If machines are interoperable and collaborative with each other, evaluate what happens when a workforce also adopts the same strategy.
Your professional goal is to understand how your specific, collaborative role – your interoperability – contributes to your organization’s value stream. When that epiphany happens, sales stupidity is no longer a viable, competitive, professional option.
Action Item: Did you know that revenue generation is part of everyone’s job functionality, whether stated or not? Learn how to capture and articulate your own value to customers. Pick up your copy of my book of IoT collaboration hacks, Do YOU Mean Business?
When teams collaborate non-linearly, across departmental mindset, they overcome sales stupidity.
When the “norm” for developing client solutions becomes cross-functional, you work in truly multi-disciplinary environments. Sales and marketing professionals become more conversant and comfortable with the technical complexities and issues factoring into what they market and sell. Engineering, IT, and service professionals learn that marketing and selling is just as complex as what they design, implement, manufacture and service.
Everyone learns to listen and see with a new set of ears and eyes.
As a result, there is no longer wiggle room for remaining professionally comfortable and complacent. Consequently, self-disruption is a key component for creating innovative client solutions that catalyze customer success and customer retention.
- Solve today’s and tomorrow’s problems by cross training your brain, no matter what your professional discipline.
- Continuously create a professional portfolio of collaborative, hybridized skills, even if you are hired via traditional status quo HR processes.
- If you are an engineer or a data scientist, ponder whether you regularly miss out on potential business opportunities. Otherwise, cultivate the company of business colleagues. Cross-pollinate your mindset. Grow, expand and sustain your organization, in the process.
- When pitching and selling to technical and engineering groups, do you compromise your professional credibility? Be honest with yourself. Are you capable of answering technical questions posted by skeptical technical decision makers? Where are those STEM colleagues when you need them most? (Science-Technology-Engineering-Math).
Action Item: STEM colleagues are your greatest marketing, business and sales allies. Download Selling to Skeptical Technical Decision Makers . Get a jump start on how to overcome sales stupidity.
Learn to translate across the sales-engineering® interface. Make sales stupidity a non-option for your increasingly digitally-connected, collaborative organization.
Depending on where we all sit around the table, we “see” the same things differently.
As a result, hybridized solutions become a differentiating, organizational strength. When everyone brings a strong, baseline, professional background to the client table, you become known as an innovator, rather than an order-taker.
Action Item: Are you regularly invited to sit at your clients’ tables? How about earning that invitation, starting today?
Certainly, learning to think non-linearly may not necessarily be part of everyone’s initial professional training or education. However, learning to think non-linearly is reinforceable over time.
When non-linear thinking becomes the rule rather than the exception, hybridized, collaborative problem-solving becomes the trajectory for innovative solutions. These solutions are why you are invited to sit at your clients’ tables, time after time.
Eliminate sales stupidity as a professional option. Instead, develop a minimally viable set of hybridized, collaborative skills. Turn yourself into a sought-after innovator, known for customer success.
Babette Ten Haken is a STEM-trained catalyst, corporate strategist, storyteller and facilitator. Her focus? How collaboration revolutionizes and humanizes the industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) value chain. The results? Increased customer loyalty, customer success and customer retention.
Babette Ten Haken’s One Millimeter Mindset™ programs cross train everyone’s brain! They 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 IIoT team collaboration hacks, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon. Do you know the Top 5 Negative Customer Retention Scenarios? Find out here.
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