Thursday, September 9, 2010

Are you the Rainmaker in your small or medium business?

A "Rainmaker" is someone who brings in the big deals.

This is really addressed at the owners of small or medium businesses who have worked hard to build their company but just can't seem to grow beyond a particular limit. I've noticed it more over the last few years.

Often, the person who started the company best understands the product and where it fits in the market.
Usually they, the company, has matured enough to put together a business plan for growth and have often designed their systems to scale to handle the increased volumes. It just that for some reason, no one seems to be able to sell their product or service quite as well as the owner.

Standing on the outside, it became obvious to me that there are three main reasons that this occurs:
  1. The sales person does not have the authority to make the call. This allows the owner to always be the rainmaker.
  2. The owner hired someone who understand the technology or complexity but does not how to sell. This person is often best at after sales support. This allows the owner to step back in and be the rainmaker.
  3. The owner hired sales people who cannot sell, or has them in a structure that cannot scale, which often amounts to the same thing. So, in an attempt to grow, the owner steps back into the rainmaker role.
I'd love to hear of similar observations.

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