Select Sales Professionals Who can Manage Prospects and Customers

It is essential that enterprise sales personnel keep early stage conversations with prospects on track. The cliche “the customer is always right” is, quite often, dead wrong. In fact, most prospects are unclear about what they are looking for. Further, prospects in the role of decision-makers are usually very comfortable engaging with other personnel from a position of authority. These people almost always assume an authoritative posture when dealing with sales people. Therefore, sales personnel selected by an innovative tech business to lead enterprise sales efforts must have the type of personality to normally engage with decision-makers, regardless of any authoritative stance that the other party in the conversation may appear to assume.

Further, the best enterprise sales personnel will avoid any type of reactive posturing when engaging with decision-makers. For these personalities, it is strictly SOP to keep on track despite efforts on the part of the other party in the conversation to veer dangerously off the road to, for example, obtain merely a price quote, or to simply jump to a proposal without any useful information about needs or solutions that may or may not be relevant. The fact is that the personality type of these sales personnel lends itself to this type of engagement with prospects. When a bullying prospect acts like wrecking ball these sales personalities mysteriously vaporize, which lets the wrecking ball, harmlessly, swing wildly in empty air.

It is important to understand that permitting conversations to go off track at a very early stage in the prospect development process almost always leads to very low probability opportunities. As these low probability opportunities stack up, sales personnel may be very hard at work, but the work they are expending will almost always fall into very early stage prospect qualification.

In order to move forward prospect engagements must be kept strictly on track. Without meaningful information that your product/service/integrated solution can satisfy some important need there is absolutely no point whatsoever jumping into presentations or, worse, pricing and proposals. Prospects who refuse to participate in an information gathering process that affords all parties an opportunity to determine whether or not it makes sense to continue a discussion are simply not worth the time. Very often it makes sense to prune closed up prospects from sales campaigns. But some of the time analysis will show that a lack of information supporting prospect engagement must be directly attributed to sales personnel who can’t keep discussions on track. In these cases businesses must make a change if revenue targets are to be hit.

We welcome opportunities to engage with companies looking to add the right sales personnel to handle their selling needs. You may telephone Ira Michael Blonder at +1 631-673-2929 to further a discussion. You may also email Mike at imblonder@imbenterprises.com.

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


Converging Roles: Enterprise Software Sales Personnel and Facilitators

Increasingly, models of highly successful enterprise software sales talent are diverging from the traditional stereotypical sales person. Yesterday’s emphasis sales people with thick skins, who can take over a crowd, dripping high energy and the like is long gone. Now, the highly desirable personality type is a modern version of the personality included in M.C. Escher’s “Hand with Reflecting Sphere”, a studious type who is “all ears”, ever attentive to prospects, self critical and self motivating, with a memory to match. This personality type operates in a pronounced methodical and subdued manner. Finally, the best examples of this personality type are entirely well adjusted individuals who have overcome most of their neuroses; they can be trusted to correctly field outburst from prospects and customers without messy unconscious reactions getting in the way of progressing the deal.

It does not take much consideration to realize that good candidates for a career in enterprise software sales will be few and very hard to come by. Nevertheless, given the temper of our times we think that our brief description of the personality type rings true. Enterprise software sales has become highly complex and fragile. Assertive personalities (the traditional stereotype) that border on aggressive have a very difficult time succeeding in this marketplace. The early stages of enterprise sales opportunities are characterized by sales personnel make lots of effort to play the role of facilitator with prospects, to create venues and conversations that will afford prospects an opportunity to freely offer credible information. Of course, sales personnel must exercise some leadership through these early opportunities to engage with prospects, but the specific type of leadership required is, once again, very much the leadership demonstrated by facilitators (even therapists) who collect lots of information while strictly refraining from presenting products, solutions, etc.

We think it is incumbent for management at early stage businesses selling enterprise software to burn this personality type into memory and to hire appropriately. Certainly there are talented individuals who may demonstrate an understanding of the importance of these features, but fall short of a display of the precise personality combination who can succeed at this game, but they will need to be coached along for some period of time prior to producing meaningful results.

If you find our position on this point to be plausible and care to speak directly with us about your interest, please do let us know. Please contact Ira Michael Blonder at +1 631-673-2929 to further a discussion. You may also email Mike at imblonder@imbenterprises.com.

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