One of the things which come to my mind when I reflect on my long career in sales is the need for “selling to internal stakeholders” more than selling to external clients especially as you move up the ladder. Selling to internal stakeholders is important for several reasons some of which include:
- Procuring pricing or commercial terms approvals
- Adding new features to existing products
- Getting support to set up a process for any changes in the product that are currently being delivered
- Acquiring projects for buying for any complexity due to special client requirements
- Meeting customer deadlines that do not match existing general delivery guidelines
As the organization’s size and complexity increase in terms of the number of stakeholders and products, procuring approvals for the above can be a real challenge. Customers may demand several things, which large organizations may be able to deliver; however, it requires approval from several internal stakeholders. Failure to procure the necessary approvals, the organization may lose its order.
Some of these approvals may be discretionary and depend on your relationship with the internal stakeholders. If your relationship is not good then you may get limited or no approvals for things that can easily be done. If your relationship is good, it may become easier to procure approvals for even things that may be difficult and almost impossible to deliver.
This is a big challenge, especially in larger and complex organizations irrespective of the structures that are in place. As the market becomes more demanding, internal selling gains paramount importance for the organizations’ success. How to manage selling to your internal stakeholders is a crucial part of our Stakeholder Management Program for Sales.