When we introduced the Action Selling system at GoTeam two years ago, a lot of attention was placed on the concept of “orchestrating your resources,” especially in a complex selling situation. So far, I think our orchestration in the Amstand deal deserves an A.

Maybe I should be a tougher grader and say an A-minus since, tactically speaking, Carrie Overton brought me into play too soon. She could have held me in reserve as a lever she might need to gain Nancy Winslow’s agreement to let us meet with her VP, Victor Herstad. Instead, Carrie panicked a little and dragged me in to do the heavy lifting in the earlier meeting with Nancy.

On the other hand, though, maybe it’s best that I was there early in the game to backstop Carrie. It was vital to enlist Nancy as an ally who would willingly take us to Victor. At this point in her development, I’m not certain that Carrie could have pulled it off without some direct help from me.

I am confident that she’s ready right now to manage the Amstand account once it’s up and running. Carrie is perfectly capable, though she isn’t my favorite employee on a personal level. Sometimes I look at her and see a hammerhead shark. She complains about having to be her household’s primary breadwinner because of her husband’s family business deal with his stingy father, but I suspect she enjoys the upper hand she gets in the relationship by out-earning the poor guy. How’s that for a creepy thought about someone’s marriage?

‘The whole company is involved in the sales process. Selling has become a team sport.’

Still, as I say, she’s capable. And she’s perceptive enough to recognize most of the beauty in the Action Selling system (not all of it yet) and to take advantage of it. That’s why she’s still here. A few of our other reps aren’t.

Whether she presented me to Nancy too soon or not, I’m certainly glad that Carrie consulted me as soon as she recognized the potential in the Amstand account. Before we institutionalized Action Selling we expected our reps to act single-handedly: “Go out there and make it rain business.” A few of them did just that. But now that Action Selling has given us a common sales language—and everyone speaks it—the whole company is involved in the sales process. Selling has become a team sport at GoTeam. We talk to each other about deals. We discuss strategy. We test ideas. Everyone has a common vision about how we’ll get the business.

Because Carrie consulted me, I could consult our CEO, Darrel Sharp. Darrel made a huge contribution by penetrating the fog surrounding Amstand’s growth rate. When he revealed that the company’s expensive sales force actually is underperforming the low-cost competition, we gained a tremendously valuable key to the account…

Duane Sparks

About Duane Sparks

Duane Sparks is founder and chairman of The Sales Board, the authoritative source of practical and leading-edge information about the art and science of selling. He has created Action Selling sales training products and learning systems that transform sales organizations. Duane is author of these best-selling books: Action Selling, Selling Your Price, Questions (the Answer to Sales), Masters of Loyalty (How to turn your sales force into a loyalty force), and Sales Strategy from the Inside Out (How complex selling really works).

Discover how the best sales training process can make spectacular improvements in sales skills. Action Selling: How to Sell Like a Professional (Even If You Think You are One).