Dude gets a query from sales. Customer (important HUGE customer) wants something different than our catalog offer.
Sales says (tersely): “They want more stuff, do we have anything to offer?”
If that doesn’t sound too helpful, pat yourself on the back.
The Dude has questions:
- What in our current offer isn’t meeting their needs?
- What do they need to have added before it “works “ for them?
- What specifically are they looking for?
- Why do they need something non standard?
- Do they have budget for a custom development (aka “special”?)
That is a good start, and ought to spur additional conversations.
But the sales person just comes back and asks if we have anything else in our cupboard to toss at this customer.
When the Dude gets frustrated at, and bitches about sales, it often is because sales is so transactional. They are working their leads, opportunities and cases. When there is a roadblock, they just punt to someone else (or just mark it as a low-probability opportunity, and go looking for a better one to work on).
Even if it is a Fortune 500 pharmaceutical company.
Look, the Dude gets it. Really he does. You have a barrel full of leads that our marketing and demand generation keeps full, so you can move on to an opportunity with a lower activation energy (aka easier) but do you really want a great customer to go hunting for the grey market solutions?
Not All Sales
Now, the Dude needs to square up. Not all sales people behave like this. In fact the Dude has worked with some that are tenacious and will work a dead opportunity long beyond the time to give up. These Sales people who do have the instincts to ask those follow on questions, and to creatively address these needs.
It is just that they are the rare breeds, the unicorns. If you want to become like them, the Dude can help you become a unicorn, if you will just listen, and learn.