The Lone Ranger and Concurring the Wild, Wild, West
Guest Faculty post by Doug Vause
When I was but a wee young lad… one of my first childhood heroes was the Lone Ranger. I loved that show, faithfully delivered every day in vivid black and white. Even as I’m writing, I can still hear the Lone Ranger theme song playing in my mind, when I saddled up my stick horse and rode fearlessly around the living room boldly daring any bad guy to cross my path. Rumor has it that I wore out many a stick horse, I mean “Silver”, riding through the wild, wild, west, totally decked out in my Lone Ranger outfit, cowboy hat, leather vest (okay maybe felt), with my six shooters (cap guns) strapped to my side shouting “Hi Yo Silver away!” I personally took it upon myself to keep all the town folk safe in our neighborhood and ensure that the fair maiden Chelli, the cute little neighbor girl next door, who always dressed up like Annie Oakley, safe from all the villains of the wild, wild, west. Truth be known, our wiener dog Heidi unfortunately took the brunt of my ambitious peacekeeping and was known to be roped and put in her jail cell (dog kennel) far too many times!
Sales used to be a lonely job.
Throughout my career I have had the opportunity to work with, manage, and observe a lot of salespeople whose behaviors reminded me a lot of the Lone Ranger. They preferred to work alone, or thought that they could do it all on their own, and that because they had the personal relationships they would always walk away with the sale. In all fairness, the fact is, in the past, sales used to be a lot more of an independent, lonely job. Sales were typically conducted one on one: one salesperson sitting across the desk from another, a handshake and it was done, then off to golf! Individual relationship selling was the way we conducted the sell. “Ding Dong”. And remember when sales were all about the door to door salesperson and the tireless road warriors who were gone from home for weeks on the road? Not that those skills or practices are entirely gone today, relationships are still important, but in the world of big sales, especially large transformational sales, the way the sales transaction is conducted has dramatically changed.
Didn’t the Lone Ranger have a side kick named Tonto?
Today, to successfully land large, transformational accounts/sales it takes an entire posse…. okay, sales team. We call this a Hunt Team. Represented on the customer’s side are multiple individuals who take part in the buying decision and sit at the buyers table, influencers, stakeholders, technical staff, financial, operational, onboarding, supporters, champions, and eels. All have a say in the buying decision and all can influence whether the company buys from you or not. A successful Hunt Team consists of corresponding players: Shoe, Closer, Flow, SME’s, all from various levels throughout the organization from frontline experts to the CEO. Each having been prepped and prepared to support the business case and tailored solution for the customer. Customer confidence is raised knowing that an entire team is ready, willing, and waiting to make the solution a success. Knowing who from the customer’s side will be sitting at the buyer table dramatically affects who we will bring from our side to help balance the buying decision. Today sales truly is a team effort.
Gone is the day of selling like the Lone Ranger!
Much like my favorite show, the days of selling like the Lone Ranger have long since passed… okay, I can still watch the Lone Ranger on Netflix! But my point is, to be successful at transformational sales, it takes an entire team, a finely tuned Hunt Team, to successfully land your next big whale!