A Chief Exec basked in the glory of a good year end. In his corner office, rain smashing against the window, we got to talking about the benefits of his sales team switch around.
New business and account management were now separate endeavours.
And results proved it was a winning plan.
Which I find, it always is.
There is a constant sales debate about when to handover a client. It can be a tricky call to draw that line at which point the customer goes from the person earning the signature, to that charged with upselling, or eventual re-signature further down the line.
My personal favourite is when the ink is wet. So long as you prepare your prospect for this, then the logic that the team will be different that uncover needs and match requirements to solutions to the one that provisions and maintains is usually accepted.
And the post-sales team will have been introduced along the prospecting path anyway.
One bonus of this, is that salespeople are then less prone to sell vapourware. That is, make unkeepable promises of delivery. Because if they do, then they get sucked in to all manner of post-sales firefighting. Which duly decimates their selling, along with commissions.
There are issues with elongating the new biz tiger’s strangehold on a deal. Make sure you’ve got the right balance between what the two different skillsets earn. New business is harder than account management. I don’t think that’s a disputable statement.
Yet if incentive plans are wonky, then rewarding farmers beyond hunters can lead to the pursuit of the lowest hanging fruit. Which often means no new business gets tracked down, as everyone shifts to the ‘easier’ client base cultivation.
There was this quote I was reminded of in this discussion. When Bonnie & Clyde were asked why they robbed banks, they replied;
because that’s where all the money is
Make sure you know where your money is too…