Posts in Growth

Considering the Agile philosophy within deal pursuits

I have been reading about Agile software development philosophy for years and it seems that the core ideas are worth exploring in relation to major deal pursuits. I think I first came across Agile thinking in about 1999, in the form of extreme programming. At the time though I only looked at it through the lens of selling software development

Six reasons major sales initiatives fail

We’ve all seen a major sales initiative that fails to deliver the results expected, for example from a sales force restructure. But what’s the root cause of the failure? Here I will explore the reasons hidden in the background and the ways in which they can be successfully overcome. From poorly-handled internal politics to lack of sponsorship; from

Being creative to grow when brainstorms fail

I have attended far too many brainstorming sessions which have not been framed to make them useful. The science is in. Brainstorming doesn’t work. When and why you need ideas In sales, we will want to come up with creative ideas to grow our accounts, penetrate new ones, grow the business, invent new offerings and so on. In fact,

Systems thinking as a sales perspective

Systems Thinking is a way of looking at the world where one thinks about interactions and relationships rather than isolated elements. This world view means that Systems Thinking is neither a model nor a methodology1. It’s an approach, or a perspective. It can be taught. I believe it’s the most effective way of thinking for a solution sales

The deal elements of a solution sale

When explaining solution sales to people unfamiliar with complex deal structuring, I have found the attached model very useful. If a person only knows IT product sales, in the simplest situation they might negotiate on elements like price, warranty, installation costs and possibly third-party integration. In a solution sale, the product is one functional element within the entire deal, with

Solution sales people care about results

Recently I was explaining solution sales to a colleague who works in operations and I highlighted that a solution sales person should genuinely care about whether their proposed solution will actually work in the client’s environment. This was to contrast the degree to which a solution sales person should involve themselves in fit, operational readiness and implementation, with the

The solution sales versus product sales mentality

Broadly, you can categorise what is being sold on a continuum between services and product sales. Within service sales there are further distinctions you can make. A new sales person who is asked to sell commoditised products like PCs or laptops will firstly need to understand the product characteristics, and it will take them some time before being able to