Heidi Cohen interviews Tim Sanders
New book: Dealstorming – The Secret Weapon That Can Solve Your Toughest Sales Challenges
Reach out to sales leaders and offer to partner with them on their sales challenges. The earlier you can get involved in the “deal team” the more you can bring to the table.
As you partner with sales, you’ll gain better intelligence from the field, which can only assist you in your marketing research, planning and execution.
Q: What was the inspiration for Dealstorming?
When I was at Yahoo, I learned first hand that genius is a team sport. When companies solve the “silo” problem through collaboration, they become more innovative and agile.
The Dealstorming process is designed to solve sales challenges, but it also forges a culture of collaboration across the entire company. This is because the Dealstorming team includes diverse players from several departments. When they win, it sets a powerful example that usually reverberates through a company, leading everyone to team up on problems, be they marketing, operations, product or process.
Q: What is the key concept behind your book?
The B2B sales process is getting more complicated every day, putting pressure on companies to continually innovate how they go to market, make contact with prospects and move them to commitment. To navigate the four levels of the sale, we need to build diverse thinking teams to problem solve quickly. But when you bring together multiple perspectives, you need a process by which to manage the group, ensuring they make continual progress. This process is called Dealstorming, and follows a seven step cycle.
Q: What do you want readers to take away from Dealstorming?
When you get stuck, don’t go down alone. There is no such thing as a lone genius. The greatest discoveries and solutions in history were developed through collaboration, not singular person inspiration. Collaborative webs are more effective than creative people working alone.
Q: How do you describe yourself professionally?
I’m an author, lecture circuit speaker and strategic consultant. I co-founded a research based consultancy, which also produces sales and management training products. I was an early stage employee at Mark Cuban’s broadcast.com and served for four years as Yahoo’s Chief Solutions Officer.
Q: What are 1-3 books that inspired your work/career?
- The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey Sr: Taught me to think of personal development as a life long process, where continual improvement and empathy were top priorities.
- The Experience Economy by Joseph Pine & Jim Gilmore: The customer doesn’t buy a product, he or she purchases an experience that is memorable and engaging. This means we have to segment the customer experience in order to drive the best product and marketing development.
- The Challenger Sale / The Challenger Customer by CEB’s Adamson, Dixon, et al: Sales complexity is rising, in large part to the expanded number of decision makers and influencers coming together around their business problems. Too often, “no decision” is the number one outcome of most sales attempts. To solve this, we must develop challenger sales people along with marketing tool kits that can equip challenger customers to mobilize enough resources to drive change (and sales success).
Q: What is the biggest challenge that you’ve had to overcome?
When my father was murdered while I was in college, it rocked my world. It took me almost fifteen years to turn my perspective back around to the positive. I did it by practicing the principles taught to me as a child by my grandmother. This turnaround was the heart of my 4th book, Today We Are Rich.
Q: What’s something unusual or fun that most people don’t know about you?
I am a musician, and love writing songs in multiple genres such as country, alternative and electronic. That’s what I did right up until our IPO at broadcast.com. After that experience, I devoted 100% of my energies to my business career.
Q: Is there a piece of content, a social media campaign or a marketing campaign that you worked on that you’re particularly proud of?
When we launched my 4th book (Today We Are Rich), we released a free chapter (here) that went viral in just a few days. It was passed around so much that it drove the book to #91 on Amazon and #3 on the self-help charts. It was amazing to see what a long-form piece of free content can do to drive a product’s discoverability.
Q: Is there anything else that we haven’t covered that you’d like to share?
Dealstorming is a book about teamwork in pursuit of big opportunities. Although I gear much of it to the sales and deal making process, marketers can take away a lot from the read. The point of the book is that we can succeed more by involving more minds in a problem solving situation. When we use a sales challenge as a crucible moment, it can help everyone across a company realize the benefit to working together across departmental boundaries.
- Name: Tim Sanders
- Company: Deeper Media
- Blog: TimSanders.com
- Book(s): Dealstorming, Love is the Killer App
- Facebook: SandersSays
- Twitter: @SandersSays
- LinkedIn: SandersSays
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