The Salesperson's Dilemma: Balancing Vision and Market Realities
There are three realities for all companies.
- The founder's perspective.
- The market's perspective.
- The salesperson's perspective.
But why does this matter?
And why is that anything to do with the salesperson?
The salesperson is the middle man and yields incredible power for growth.
This is their baby. They had an idea, they worked for years to build it. They had to solve all problems along the way, faced failure constantly, put out fires.
They've done their best to be all things in all areas.
Their reality is built from a combination of:
- Their original ideas.
- Obstacles they had to overcome.
- People who influenced them.
- How they compare to competitors.
The problem it, this isn’t real.
They’re marketing based on their perception of the market fit, not what it really is.
The market is the ultimate deciding factor.
Think about your favourite brands. You can explain to someone what they are, what they’re about, and you can probably try and summarise the essence of them; the feeling.
Most people who are into that same brand would say a similar thing.
This salesperson is right in the middle.
They know what the founder feels, they’re likely trained to view the company that way as well.
Yet, when they get on sales calls, things aren’t congruent.
What the prospects are asking and expecting doesn’t align with what the founder has told them.
How can the salesperson help?
I need to preface this by saying, it’s still the founders world, you’re just working in it. Be respectful
Create a space where you can give feedback on what you’re hearing.
If prospects are consistently asking for something, ask them what prompted that request.
When you join a company, do an assessment of what you thought it was, then contrast that against what you hear on the inside.
What does this do?
The company can be focusing their energy on the wrong messaging. The wrong avatar. All this adds up over time.
If you have clear communication, you can be a reliable source of data as things change.
This is how you make yourself substantially more valuable to a company, and the market in general.
Map out all three realities.
- What the founder says/thinks about the offer. What the marketing says as well.
- What the prospects are asking for on call and where the calls sometimes fall apart.
- Map out your understanding when you joined.
If there are huge gaps, there's some conversations to be had.