Internal Selling: The Key is Knowing What Makes Your Company Tick

Internal Selling:
The Key is Knowing What Makes Your Company Tick

Consulting – working with companies to define solutions to business problems — is like doctoring, in that a key piece of the work involves diagnosing symptoms and suggesting effective solutions. To do that intelligently it is critical to have the facts — all of them — and to make a complete, thorough diagnosis of what is really going on in a company.

What is really driving a company’s culture (fear, professional drive, past successes, for example), business strategy (is it well-planned, or does it represent tactics in search of a strategy?) and tactical planning processes (reactionary, anticipatory, trend-focused, etc.).

This consulting model offers some suggestions for succeeding internally in your own company, too. If you are working on getting your company or business to the next level, you’ve got to know what really makes your company tick and what drives decision-making in your firm.

You may, of course, be well aware of “how to get things done here.” Most senior-level people know exactly who-does-what-to-who in the company, what the clients really think, and how to find the slush fund in late Q4. But try turning this anecdotal knowledge around (the plural of anecdote, is after all, data) and understanding the dynamics of the processes you are observing, and you may increase your chances of successfully pitching your ideas internally.

Here’s an example. If you are trying to pitch the product development team into fast-tracking a product you know will enable you effectively cross-sell your top ten clients, structure your approach to them as if it were a strategic sales call. Find out what the criteria are for determining the product development priorities — cross-selling may not, in fact, be on the radar screen in product development. Remember that there may be many different compensation plans at play — your plan may reflect a completely different set of corporate priorities than do your colleagues’ plans.

In a perfect world, all organizational priorities are clearly communicated, everyone is on the same page, and everyone is compensation based on business strategy. For organizations still in search of nirvana, though, it is critical that key players understand the variety of dynamics at work and create paths forward that take those into consideration.