Nothing is more critical to the sustainable success of a business than its abilities to galvanize the organizational team around their accountabilities for growth. While so many businesses place a high emphasis and dependence upon the functional responsibility of the sales teams for their growth, sustainable businesses recognize that increases in revenues are best accomplished through the retention of existing clients and the efficiency with which their team attracts and converts new clients. Sustainable revenue growth is about focusing on developing and maintaining great relationships that add value to the firm and to the client. That is not a sales function—it is an organizational accountability.
I have embraced the Whale Hunter culture and process because it speaks to my fundamental beliefs, values and experiences in leveraging the power and skills and commitment of an organization to build and maintain critical business relationships. Here are the key values that make the team based selling (i.e., Whale Hunting) model of the whale hunters work best:
- Everyone is a superstar: In Whale Hunting, the salesperson is not the superstar – they are simply a member of the team with a very clearly defined role. The days of relying on the salesperson to find the client, educate the client, present the client the solution and receive all the credit for closing the deal are over. Businesses are looking for organizations that are coordinated, cohesive teams capable of consistently fulfilling their commitments. The salesperson is not the only connection or resource for landing the customer – the entire organization is involved and has clearly defined roles. Hence, the entire organization recognizes and embraces their accountability for effective customer engagements.
- There are plenty of resources: I have sold in several different industries and a variety of products and services. In each of the experiences, I was never seen as the product expert or industry guru. I didn’t need to be. Every company has a team of people who know their industry, their products and services, and their capabilities at a much higher level than me. I simply strategized and communicated with them in a manner that I was able to rely on them to be the subject matter expert. When my clients needed an expert, I had a teammate that I could rely on to establish and maintain the credibility and the experiences my clients were looking for. In Whale Hunting, the salesperson is not the expert; the organization leverages the expertise that exists within the firm.
- There is only one playbook: Effective sales outcomes are more dependent upon fulfillment that simply getting the order. In Whale Hunting, the sales strategy is defined by, executed by, and fulfilled by a coordinated team. As a result, there is a coordinated and collaborated effort around securing new client relationships. This team approach puts everyone on the same page, working in a coordinated and focused manner to define and honor the commitments made to the customer. As everyone recognizes and embraces their accountability for the success of this process, customers appreciate and value the coordinated effort of the team.
- It is efficient: In Whale Hunting, organizations know which customers are the best customers. They don’t make bad deals, they don’t chase lousy customers, and they avoid going after bad business. Instead, they focus their efforts on business opportunities that measure up best with the unique skills, abilities, and differentiated components of the organization. As a result, the business relationships that are delivered are ones that are in the best interests of both parties and is more capable to be sustained and valued. Doing business with anyone who can write a check or place an order is not good business. Good business is defined by building relationships that result in a mutually beneficial outcome. Whale Hunters only hunt whales – they aren’t simply fishing.
I have been a team oriented selling professional for over 25 years. My sales methodology is very strategic, I depend on expert resources to educate me while supporting my clients, I value great clients who value me, I turnover challenging clients who don’t recognize or appreciate value, and I have always engaged and required the support of my fulfillment team to help me define and acknowledge their commitments to the customer. I became a Whale Hunter because it reflected my values and experiences as the most effective and efficient process for landing valuable clients. I am honored to be part of this village.
Dave Cooke is CEO of Strategic Resource Group, LLC. Dave leverages over 25 years sales and marketing experience to provide businesses with sustainable growth strategies and effective relationship building behaviors. Dave has developed the Sustainable Revenue Formula (SuRF) which provides an organizational program for increasing and stabilizing revenues. Dave is also part of a dynamic duo with Chris Conrey in producing the podcast series, Don’t Sell Me Bro.