As you may know, The TAS Group, and others, launched the Dealmaker Partner Network on Sept 29, 2009. Since then I’ve received many inquiries from individuals and companies who’ve expressed both intrigue and interest in what we’re doing. I hadn’t really thought that the DPN would create such interest, and as often happens when ideas evolve, I never called out the core thinking that combined to bring this idea to life. Here it is in brief:
My perspective is informed by a number of macro trends that, in my opinion, are today combining to shape the future of the economy in general and specifically the sales effectiveness market in which we operate;
- Trend #1. The market is fundamentally changed – and it’s not going back
The practices that have characterized (and, in truth damaged) our industry – no technology, poor adoption, little sustained delivery of value, ‘best practice-du-jour’, on the fly reinvention of (both sales and marketing) methodology, training event driven learning – are now, and will remain defunct. I’ve written about this a little in a previous post – The ‘New Normal’ in Sales Effectiveness
- Trend #2. We need to re-conceive value creation.
We need to prepare for the ‘new normal’ and commit to delivering sustained customer value, redress the value imbalance (you give me $100 and I will give you $13 value in sales training), and in effect re-conceive value creation. If your customers’ adoption rates of the sales effectiveness solution you provide remains at the industry average (13%), you should give them their money back.
- Truth #3. Our customers need to be Agile – and it’s our job to enable that.
Market cycles are becoming increasingly compressed. Volatility is here to stay. Organizations or departments must be able to ‘turn on a dime’. Velocity, productivity, effectiveness and information flow in the sales and marketing organizations are the enablers of growth that we must facilitate. That’s only achievable through short-cycle closed loop ‘now information’, that can only be facilitated with integrated technology. Without ‘now information’ I can’t measure, or correct my course.
- Truth #4. This restructuring of the economy creates tremendous opportunity.
I view the current/recent market challenges more as a restructuring of the economic order rather than a recession. It’s a fine example of capitalism at work, but re-imposes the need for a foundation of trust, ethics and good business practices. On such foundations are good partnerships and other successful business ecosystems (such as the DPN) built. We’ve witnessed many exemplars of this trend; e.g. Linux, Cisco, Dell, etc. Uncommon opportunity calls for uncommon partnerships to best support and facilitate the rate of change, innovation and self-disruption necessary in our business models – not just to grow, but to avoid extinction or lingering death.
When some one expresses interest in joining the DPN, my first question is: “What value do you think the Dealmaker platform, and the DPN in general can bring to your customer?” My contention is that if the answer to that question isn’t clear, then perhaps now isn’t the right time for the company to join the DPN. I look for alignment with the core principles outlined above, because if we don’t share a vision, we’re unlikely to succeed.