Many people approach sales as if they are going to be working as a “lone wolf” the entire time. But David Perry prefers to assemble a dream team. What does that mean?
David had just closed a large deal and felt really good about himself. But then he listed out everyone that had been involved in the deal. There were over 60 people involved! There are so many people involved on both sides of a deal. The notion of being a “lone wolf” in the enterprise sales space is laughable. It has to be a team approach. You can’t go it alone.
David notes that it can take many lifetimes to learn the different dimensions of a solution and how it would fit with a customer’s environment. Industry applications, the different ways the technology is used across hundreds of thousands of people, the downstream processes, etc., have to involve a team.
How to make any team a dream team
It’s not likely that you’ll get to choose the team that you work with. But David points out that you can turn any team into a dream team. How? By taking the best aspects, an individual offers and making them feel valued for their perspective. It doesn’t help to be overly critical with a team member. Instead, focus on how you can help and how you can plug the hole with another team member.
In David’s book, “The Game of Sales,” he shares examples of different team dynamics and what to do when things are going well—and warning signs to watch out for if the team is going off the rails. One of the things he’s asked the most is how to work with partners and executives. Both can seem pretty daunting.
How to work with partners + executives
When working with a consulting partner, vendor, etc., you must have a lot of humility. They’re so embedded with the client they’re almost like the client themselves. They may have worked with your client for 20 years. You need to listen to what they have to say and take their advice whenever possible. It can be challenging and complex, but that’s the cost of doing business.
David notes that it can be intimidating if the President, CEO, or even the SAP of your company is brought in for a meeting. To keep from spiraling, David shares a simple set of things you can do to be successful with that executive engagement.
The most important thing is knowing how that individual likes to contribute. It may seem basic and obvious, but if you put them in a situation where they don’t feel they’re adding value or they’re wasting their time, it’s not good. They must also understand the outcome that you’re looking for, what the risk is in that meeting (so they don’t step on a landmine), and make an ask of them.
What can they do or change to give the customer that can make a difference that you can’t do yourself? It can be as small as changing a term in an agreement or as large as devoting resources to right the ship. If the customer has the sense that you’re willing to invest in them, they’ll be more willing to reciprocate.
David’s book is all about putting these things into action. David implores his readers to take 1–2 actions each day that reflect things you learn from the book. After all, actions—over time—will get you to better results.
To learn more about David’s book and some of the tactics, strategies, and mindsets that he teaches, listen to episode #225 of the Negotiations Ninja podcast!