Sales Tactic: Alignment with Company Direction is Your Job!

Rowing UpstreamSales reps, ever feel like you are paddling upstream trying to get your company to meet the needs of an awesome prospect?  Perhaps you need a slight product tweak.  Or, the clients needs an additional product or service that isn’t part of your portfolio. Maybe the issue is you!

Selling outside the box is often a recipe for disaster if you are not aligned with your company direction.  Lots of reps, myself included, tend to get wide-eyed when a big prospect is on the hook.  It is tempting to want to pull your company along for the ride.  Unfortunately, all too often that ride is a wild goose-chase.  I am not advocating giving up creativity in finding solutions to your prospects’ challenges.  I am merely saying that you should spend the bulk of your time selling in the sweet-spot where your company focuses.

One experience I will never forget was selling a multi-million dollar software and services deal years ago.  No one, including the CEO, was confident we had a chance to win it.  As the sales rep, I pressed the company to jump through hoops.  We moved mountains for custom demos to prove we could handle this large custom project.  Low and behold, we won the deal – the largest in the small company’s history at that point in time!

Only one problem – my company had recently shifted our focus to pre-packaged service bundles rather than large custom projects.  Despite the direction change I pushed ahead with the big fish sale.  A few months after the contract was signed and we were into the swing of the project, it was apparent to the client that our company direction did not match their.   Bye-bye big fish!

If you feel like you are banging your head against the wall trying to get the support of your company, perhaps it’s time to turn left!  It is a lot more productive to sell to your strengths and channel your outside the box ideas to your team for future opportunities!

Any similar stories to share?  Please share your experiences!