This is what Brad Holtzinger, Worldwide VP of Sales at a technology company did. Looking at the sales process, he was dismayed when sales people would uncover deals and then bring in the various stakeholders from his company to negotiate their piece of the pie. You have finance people negotiating the financial terms, legal personnel making sure everything was legit and proper and marketing people making sure product use and promises were in line with expectations. You can say there were too many chefs in the kitchen. The process was laborious at best and took forever.
Realizing this, Brad went to his Chief Legal Counsel and proposed the concept of empowering the sales reps to be the point and face to the customer on all negotiations. Once trained on the key legal, financial and marketing issues, they would be free to negotiate the right deal. Then they would have it approved by the various entities involved. Before getting the go ahead to involve the sales people, Brad had to show he could handle this sales process himself while looking out for company interests.
After successfully carrying out this process, he got the go ahead to bring his sales team on board.
He engaged a resource to train his sales people on all the legal issues. Then the training expanded to cover financial and marketing scenarios. Training included role-plays on key deals involving decision makers at all levels and being able to respond to all potential issues that would be raised.
The results were astounding. Sales people became more creative in developing a series of options for the customers to consider involving different terms. Customers were given the power to choose the right option. Deals were negotiated in a shorter amount of time. Customers felt their issues were being heard and dealt with on a quick turnaround basis.
Bottom line results included lower deviation from standards, consistent value and better results for both Brad’s company and the customers. Brad’s team put together three years of growth including an all time revenue number for a quarter and one year’s growth of 43% as compared to the prior year.
According to Brad, if you are hiring someone to sell, let them sell and close the deal! You need to empower them and train them properly. And they have to prove they can do the right deals. If not, move them out and find those who can.
In the end, Brad contends the only people he wants in front of the customer are those who are responsible for building and maintaining the relationships.
What’s your take on this? What would happen to your sales process and results if you could rely on your sales team to not only find the deals, but also create the right deals and close them? Isn’t this what sales is all about?