Selling is a Team Sport

teamAsk citizens of soccer-playing nations what they think of US football, and they’ll mostly talk about piles of human bodies with some occasional running and kicking. The nuances of the role and skills of a 250-pound linebacker versus a 175-pound safety or wide receiver are usually lost on them.

That’s the same impression most people have about the sales function. The image is either of the blue suit, red tie IBM salesman, or that of the salesperson they endured during their last car dealership experience. In reality, selling has become highly specialized, and this new salesforce.com ebook describes the many roles involved in the sales process.

The eBook draws from Aaron Ross’s concepts of “Predictable Revenue.” A decade ago, Ross had helped Salesforce.com create a sales prospecting process and inside sales team that consistently generated new qualified sales opportunities for quota-carrying salespeople. He then founded PredictableRevenue.com, a consulting company that helps B2B companies with sales growth and create self-managing sales teams.

Ross describes sales developers who are responsible for bringing in and handing off leads. They can further be classified as inbound or outbound focused. There are field reps who develop and close the leads. There are account managers who nurture and mature accounts. Surrounding these roles are a variety of managerial and technology and marketing and other support personnel.

Ross is also the founder of PebbleStorm, which is focused on helping people, “make money through enjoyment” by combining happiness and money. So, it is no surprise the ebook uses the case study of LiveOps. LiveOps’s 20,000+ staff mostly work from home – many of them are stay at home mothers who work part-time. It was innovative in tapping in to this relatively underutilized talent pool.

LiveOps pioneered the concept of customer service business process outsourcing (BPO). Its 300+ customers do not need to invest in hardware, software or staff. The freedom from needing to invest in all three areas takes cloud computing to a new level.

It’s also innovative in its sales process by using several of the Predictable Revenue concepts. The ebook describes LiveOps and the success it has had learning how to use its “linebackers” and “wide receivers” more effectively in different steps of its sales process.

Vinnie Mirchandani writes books and blogs on how technology is helping us innovate work, life and play. He has a keen eye for “ahas” across industries and countries and his blog New Florence. New Renaissance. catalogs over 500 entries a year on innovative projects, products, places and people.

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