Are You a Doer Seller?
A Doer Seller is an individual within any vertical market in any size company who is expected to deliver a quality product or service and is also expected to deliver the revenue dollars associated with sales quota.
You start a business and must sell your services and then deliver those services after you make the sale. That is the role of a Doer Seller. You work for a company and are expected to design and/or deliver a product or service and, at the same time, are expected to bring in new clients and continue to grow sales revenue from existing clients. That is the role of a Doer Seller.
The Doer Seller role has no boundaries. The role crosses different vertical markets and is not distinct to only a certain size company. Employees in any size company who are asked to serve both roles are Doer Sellers. A person’s formal job title is not a key indicator of the Doer Seller role. The role thrives in the background, below the surface, and is an engine that sustains and drives ongoing revenue streams.
There are some really tough challenges associated with being successful at serving two masters, your primary job function and your secondary job function. What makes the role of a Doer Seller even more difficult is when priorities shift back and forth; when senior management applies pressure on the employee to focus on sales when sales is the secondary job function. I identified a list of seven major challenges but will not list them all in this article because of space limitations.
To make this article more meaningful however, I decided to discuss one challenge that is easy to overcome; using a common sales language. In the world of information technology, a common language is used to standardize how different applications talk to each other so they can communicate more efficiently and more effectively. In business, a common language is a cultural system used to standardize how employees with different backgrounds and different job functions can communicate more efficiently and more effectively. Below are four terms that reflect a common sales language.
- Satisfy Demand: Satisfying Demand occurs when a buyer continues to purchase a product and/or service from the seller as the preferred vendor. At first glance, you would think that satisfying demand is a simple process that requires little effort. In fact, renewals do take a certain amount of work from the delivery team in making sure the client continues to be “satisfied” with what is being delivered.
- Service Demand: Servicing Demand occurs when the buyer is looking for a solution to a problem, has no relationship with an incumbent, and encourages many vendors to bid on the business; or when the buyer is looking for a solution to a problem, has a working relationship with an incumbent, but decides to replace the incumbent because they are dissatisfied; or when the buyer is looking for a solution to a problem, is forced by a mandate to get competitive bids, and may want to leverage the bids to get a lower price. Servicing Demand clearly means the buyer knows what he or she is looking to buy and there is always competition. This is an area where the majority of Doer Sellers and professional salespeople spend most of their time. Servicing Demand is also the primary driver of complex sales opportunities where strategic selling strategy and tactics become critical.
- Create Demand: Creating Demand for your product or service is about opening doors. It is the essence of new business development and encompasses three important skill sets: (a) Being able to engage a buyer in solving an existing problem that remained unresolved over a period of months or years, (b) Being able to identify a need the buyer didn’t realize they had and being able to engage the buyer in co-developing a solution, and (c) Being able to uncover the buyer’s pain and being able demonstrate how you can relieve, reduce, or eliminate the pain using your company’s offerings. Sounds like something every Doer Seller and every professional salesperson should be able to master with some training, and perhaps some time and experience. In reality, Creating Demand is the single most challenging task in the process of new business development.
- Defend & Farm: Here is a simple definition of “Defend & Farm”: when the account manager, or account management team, defends the account from competitive encroachment and continues to expand their reach within the account to grow profitable revenue streams in other business units and geographic locations, and when the account manager, or account management team, is able to generate revenue from other products and services not previously delivered within the account.
There are of course solutions to all the challenges. You can hire a sales consultant that specializes in working with Doer Sellers, you can read a book, and you can enroll in a sales training program from a reputable company. All of these solutions work to varying degrees depending on the attitude of the individual capitalizing on the solution.
If you are a Doer Seller, or a person that manages a Doer Seller, I encourage you to think about your challenges. To start, use the definitions above and establish your own performance improvement goals for 2012. Do it in writing and share your thinking with those that can have the most impact on your success. Thank you for your time.
Learn more about the author, Howard Dion.
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