I’ve been away from the internet for what seems like an eternity these past few days, so when I caught up on a bit of light sales-related reading relaxation, was surprised to read three articles in a row that all had resonance with internal salesteam politics.
Firstly, I came across something economists apparently call the “hold up problem”. This is where two people begin to work together for mutual, equal gain, but one person alone puts in the real investment. The problem (the hold-up) occurs upon or nearing completion when the party that did not have to invest demands the lion’s share (sensing that they’ll likely get their way as the ‘partner’ won’t want to lose their spent investment). I’ve seen just this so many times when a deal is “split”. Usually commissionable results are shared because two reps either work in tandem or one snaffles a prospect on another’s patch. The hold-up here can be explosive. One antidote is apparently the “performance bond”, although my experience recalls larger salesforces having a defined split policy in place which can never be broken (but we all know about salespeople and ‘rules’…!)
Then I learned of the collective “psychology of denial” prevalent in all connected with the financial collapse. This reminded me to never be satisfied with a gap in your political knowledge within a major account. Avoiding this denial is the one surefire way to guarantee your forecast does not fall into the hopecast trap.
And finally, an American hospital saw its approval ratings rise whilst cutting costs by 7% because of its “focus on outcomes rather than your individual component part of the process”. This is reminiscent of the story about asking someone cleaning the outside of Saturn 5 what his job was, the famous reply being “helping to put a man on the moon”. How many do you know in sales support that should heed this creed?