My Breakthrough: A Culture of Team SellingFriday February 28th, 2014
"When an organization builds its sales structure around a Spartan mentality, everyone wins!" - Jameel Farruk, Director of Client Relations
Breakthroughs From a Digital Agency (a Series)
We have a small, close-knit team here at Brolik. We’ve experienced solid growth year over year since our inception in 2004, but 2013 felt different from the rest. The company celebrates 10 years in business on January 14th, 2014. But, it’s not just this milestone we’re celebrating… this year the company reached a level of maturity that we can be proud of. As a small agency, cash flow challenges, production bottlenecks, inefficient processes and peaks and valleys in new business are common. This year our talent, experience and execution aligned better than ever before. To put a cap on the year, and to put this somewhat vague concept of “maturity” into more tangible terms, each of our team members will present their personal breakthroughs over the last year. In the process, we hope you’ll get to know the people who make up Brolik a little better.
I joined the Brolik team in June of last year after getting tired of doing side jobs for extra money. As Director of Client Relations, my job is to spearhead our sales effort. Like many small, boutique agencies, our team composition is 90 percent dedicated to product, 10 percent business development. This past year was a tremendous year of growth for our company. We have added polish to our portfolio, and our digital strategy services are increasingly supplying demand. In a company where most of us are developers, designers and strategists, we have managed to reach beyond ourselves to build something remarkable: a culture where team selling is at its core.
Walk into the Brolik offices and nothing resembles the persona of a sales environment. There are no leaderboards praising top performers. No bullpens with folks dialing out a hundred calls a day. Streamers and balloons will not auspiciously begin showering down from the skies when that one, big fish is reeled in. Our culture is far from the bullish characters of Glengarry Glen Ross. In fact, the serenity and calm under which our team appears to function, is a modest representation of how well we sell with purpose and conviction.
I knew from day one that I would have to improve our sales arm without immediately staffing up. The inspiration to build a more able-bodied sales effort stemmed from the workings of our product team. Production manages their process like a well choreographed dance. Product team members gracefully perform to their strongest suits, often sweeping into roles outside of their traditional areas of expertise. Leveraging individuals across multiple disciplines is not always a good practice for all companies, but it works well for Brolik. I believe this has a lot to do with the emphasis we have always placed on hiring well rounded individuals over subject experts. This gave me the added confidence that we could begin weaving more of our team into the sales process.
Today, Brolik is a company where almost all of our team is integrated into sales. I could not be more thankful for the enthusiasm and support everyone continues to give to developing sales. As a group of designers, developers and strategists, here is how everyone has embraced sales at our core, transforming how Brolik sells today.
Developers empower sales to sell smarter.
Weekly meetings between sales and the development team allows production to familiarize themselves with the sales pipeline. As a result, developers know which products are currently being offered, using the opportunity to provide further technical guidance, point out potential risks and determine opportunity areas sales may be overlooking. This frequent and connected relationship between sales and development allows Brolik to sell smarter, resulting in more meaningful conversations with new clients from the start.
Designers enable sales to sell with more personality.
Brolik designers keep busy working on client deliverables. They also work with sales on presentation and pitch materials, adding character and a much needed punch to the proposal phase. As a result, sales has an easier time conceptualizing solutions and bringing Brolik’s services into perspective for the clients we want to work with. The design team has lead the exodus from boilerplate presentations to a format that adds depth and a personal touch. Furthermore, sales gets to show off the design team’s capabilities with more than just past work. We are literally designing our way into new deals!
Strategists educate sales to sell… well, more strategically.
Our digital strategy service is built around a “learn and pivot” model. For new clients, the nature of a digital strategy campaign makes for an anxiety ridden start. In an effort to ease the pain, our strategists conduct preliminary research for prospective digital strategy clients. This adds clarity early on, helping manage client expectations or inspiring confidence. Research also provides sales with more substance for more effective conversations before walking a client into the proposal phase. Our strategists give sales an edge that reduces client anxiety by better informing them of the journey ahead. This small, but meaningful gesture has been a game changer.
A company wide sales effort has already fueled 2014 with much ambition and promise. As a sales guy, knowing that I have a brilliant and dedicated team behind me, makes my job easier and makes the hunt for new business less stressful. Heading into the end of my first year at Brolik, I could not be happier with our system and the team we have put in place.
Other Brolik Breakthroughs
How I Speak to Clients: a CEO’s Perspective
Re-Finding Design: a CCO’s Perspective
Websites are Just the Beginning: a COO’s Perspective
Get to Code Faster: an Art Director’s Perspective
Authentic Project Management: an Account Executive’s Perspective
Anticipating Problems: a Developer’s Perspective
Done is Better Than Perfect: a Digital Marketer’s Perspective
(Comfortably) Designing for the Web: a Designer’s Perspective
A Culture of Team Selling: a Salesperson’s Perspective (You just read it)