Enterprise IT Software Sales People Must be Comfortable Playing the Role of Facilitators

We very much like how the BusinessDictionary dot com web site defines the term “facilitator”. In fact, this definition illuminates not only the activities typical of facilitation, which include:

  • ensuring clear communication between members of a team, and
  • contributing to efforts to solve problems that arise as teams work on attaining objectives

but, further, the fact that the role of a facilitator is typical of the type of matrix organizational structure that we have talked about through prior entries to this blog.

This definition specifically posits that a facilitator “does not contribute to the actual content or management of a team’s project (which is a team leader’s function).” (quoted from the BusinessDictionary dot com web site page link cited above). In sum, a top enterprise IT software sales person in 2012 plays a leading role delivering on his/her objective to win the sale, but an invisible role, which the BusinessDictionary dot com web site refers to as serving as a “lubricant” — what we refer to as a matrix participant — in the prospect’s own project management process for the software product/service/integrated solution that is being considered for purchase, or, post purchase, for implementation.

Hopefully it will be clear to the reader that hiring managers in need of top sales talent for these enterprise IT software markets need individuals who have demonstrated an ability to modulate their activities, as required, to win the sale. Specifically, we mean individuals who are comfortable taking the lead, as appropriate, but who are also comfortable serving as a contributor to someone else’s leadership when objectives dictate this type of role.

All too often these same hiring managers are simply looking to recruit individuals who have succeeded at, what looks to be, the same job for other employers. Success is almost always simply defined as exceeding quota targets for some arbitrary number of years — usually a minimum of 3. Finally, the candidate should be widely known in the marketplace and come to the position with lots of contacts.

We think that hiring managers for enterprise IT ISVs who need sales people need to substantially change the skills and employment history criteria that they look for in candidates if they are to successfully hire the type of major contributors to business success that we think these individuals will need to be. Broadly speaking, much more emphasis must be placed on the likely flexibility of an individual, meaning his/her ability to adapt to serving in different capacities, as required, in order to deliver, successfully, a valuable sale or, over time, revenue targets for the business.

If you cannot afford to hire the wrong person for the sales or marketing opening at your company, please contact IMB Enterprises, Inc. We look forward to collaborate with enterprise IT ISVs that face an imperative to change sales and marketing methods to successfully align with their markets. Please call Ira Michael Blonder at +1 631-673-2929 to further a discussion about our retained search services. You may also email Ira at imblonder@imbenterprises.com.

© IMB Enterprises, Inc. & Ira Michael Blonder, 2012 All Rights Reserved

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