Last week discussed building your “enterprise” by focusing your time on the biggest opportunities. The goal of this strategy is to create larger sales. Those larger sales generally come with more coordination internally and need for internal communication. If you want those customers to keep saying yes to bigger sales in the future, you need to make sure your “enterprise” is delivering on what you said you would do (and hopefully over-delivering). To do that salespeople need to become project managers.
The challenge is that salespeople often communicate much better externally than internally. Many only communicate internally at that moment when they need to do something for their customers. I have never heard a teammate complain that a salesperson communicates things too often and too early in the process and that they feel too informed about what their role will be for a customer. To make sure we are communicating early and often to our team, there are many different tools to do project management and I really like the one Danielle Brandon, our Director of Education and Training, recently rolled out at GKB called RASCI. RASCI defines each person’s role for each customer:
- Responsible – The main person responsible for making sure the project reaches completion (generally the salesperson).
- Accountable – The person that has ultimate control over the project and its resources (either sales manager or higher up on an org chart).
- Support – All the different people that need to be kept in the loop early and often to execute the internal logistics on the project (sales support, technicians etc..).
- Consulted – This individual is experienced and can give advice to “Responsible” individual(s) (senior teammate who has “been there” and had success).
- Informed – This person needs to be kept in the loop at every stage of the process (director of sales).
The first step is to identify who is playing each role and the next step is to communicate those roles internally. To repeat what I said above: I have never heard a teammate complain that a salesperson communicates things too often and too early in the process, and that they feel too informed about what their role will be for a customer. When you make bigger sales, and communicate early and often internally, you will over-deliver on those bigger sales – which will lead to crushing budgets and team goals.
When we focus our team on the right customers, and work with our team to create and execute the best solutions for our customers, we all win more!