Sales Development

Whale Hunting Practice #19: Power Your Boat

By December 2, 2009December 29th, 2015No Comments
 In The Whale Hunters analogy, “the boat” represents the team of players you are going to send after a particular whale prospect.  The boat is populated by management [leaders choose who will be involved from various departments or divisions] and directed by sales, either the shaman or a harpooner.  The decision to launch a boat is made deliberately by the management team, because it is expensive to launch a boat, and therefore you need to have a high probability of success.

Big companies are not content to meet only your sales team or “pitch team.”  They want to meet the people who will actually do the work–who will manage your delivery to them, who will handle problems, who will provide training, who will work with their IT team, etc.  Small companies can sell advantages in this process because many big companies sell with an “A” team and deliver with a less-experienced “B” or “C” team.  The team you send will be your “A” team–the people who will lead this project if the sale is made.

So the sales development process for a whale hunting company includes both the sales team and members of the operations team(s).  You may also have people on your boat who are not employees of your company.  Your banker, for example, ready to confirm that you have a line of credit sufficient to ramp up this project.  A strategic ally, such as a staffing firm, ready to confirm that they always provide the additional staff you require when you bring a new project on board.  Your commercial real estate broker, ready to inform your prospect about space available for a project work team or for warehouses, call centers, increased manufacturing capacity, and so forth.  You might consider having a current or past customer whose job was much bigger than your average at the time, ready to discuss how your ramp-up process worked.

Obviously, all of the people on the boat need to be trained and need to rehearse before the team goes before a client.  That’s the topic of tomorrow’s blog.

Do you engage subject matter experts in your complex sales?  How does that work for you?  We would love to have examples, questions, and comments.