Last week I wrote about "Fusion Selling" - a fresh approach to digital sales that can make order and opportunity out of the depth and chaos that is today's digital media toolbox. Today I'll continue that thread by talking about the fresh blood we need to bring into digital sales to help realize the marketing potential of the bounty we have to offer.
At a recent breakfast I hosted for sellers at the iMedia Brand Summit, I suggested that we should be looking for new and non-traditional sources of sellers; those whose skills would allow them to thrive in the non-linear, wide open years that are ahead for our business. We need people who can deal with complex, lengthy decision chains; those who can sell ideas; and those who can thrive in complex environments. In short, those who will not be slaves to the way we've 'always' done things. I went on to suggest that we look for new archetypes, rather than just specific sales resumes. Here are the first three of the six archetypes I suggested; the rest will appear in the next Drift.
The Producer: Think Hollywood. This is the person who can find the resources for the successful build out of a project idea - because isn't a big program a lot like getting a movie out the door? The Producer is a strong collaborator and a strong negotiator; the classic deal maker. Where to get them? Look for sellers from small, non-traditional sites and technical offerings (they're used to finding budget where it doesn't exist). Former entrepreneurs are also a good source; they've had to fund the idea for whole companies from the ground up; could a complex, major deal between your company and a brand be that much harder?
The Asset Packager: The A/P understands the application of tools and talent to tasks and goals. He or she has enough technical chops to understand the combined effect of the overlapping products and services in your arsenal. But more importantly he can speak to the effect of those tools, not just how they operate. Where to get them? Think about elevating some of your internal producers or program managers to client-facing sales roles, and put them in charge of solution mapping with key clients. Many enterprise software sellers and sales engineers can also fill this role nicely, as can those who have sold technology and data services to publishers.
The Human Router: The fact that this one comes with the initials "HR" is an appropriate bit of serendipity. She is very much like the Asset Packager, except that she deals with the application of people and their skills to strategic initiatives. This person is a natural networker who maintains a deep rolodex both inside and outside the company. Where to get them? Many of the skills associated with a good business development person could serve this role well. Also, don't overlook those HR professionals who may have sales backgrounds (there are more out there than you'd think.)
Before you start hunting for these and the other archetypes I'll suggest in the next newsletter, take stock of your own organization. Are any of these people currently on your team? Are some of them in your organization but in non-sales roles? You'll want to find and elevate those folks and start matching them with bigger opportunities. And you'll also want to take a hard look at those whose skills are purely transactional.
More in the next edition.
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