Death of a Salesman?

New Business development is the lifeblood of any company because—no matter its size or sector—securing future growth and expansion is critical to any business. However, the rapidly-evolving global marketplace, combined with the technological surge that has dominated recent decades, begs a fascinating question: what staff is responsible for developing New Business? It could be Salesmen, New Business Developers, Inside Account Managers, Marketing, or Customer Service personnel. Since a large portion of New Business development in the 21st century is Digital (including web sites, email marketing, mobile apps, text messaging, social media, or QR Codes), responsibility for the development of New Business now extends far beyond a company’s Sales Staff alone.

The traditional Sales Representative is still the primary door-opener for many companies even though the stereotypical perception of a Salesperson is a slick, fast-talking, back-slapping, joke-telling shark. It could be a prosperous career for the right person, but one with great pressure to continuously meet quotas! You’re only as good as your last sale, so you are always on the hunt! And because you live on commissions, if you’re not hunting, you don’t eat!

There were two famous Broadway plays and subsequent movies that explored the lonely and sad lives of salesmen.
Death of a Salesman was written by award-winning playwright Arthur Miller in 1949, and in that same year it won both the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the Tony Award for Best Play. It won several revival awards over the years and was eventually made into a movie. The salesman, Willy Loman, became a symbol for the sales underachiever.

The other was written by another famous playwright, David Mamet: Glengarry Glen Ross. It was made into a movie in 1992 and featured an all-star cast of actors including: Al Pacino, Alan Arkin, Ed Harris, Jack Lemon as the inept salesmen, Kevin Spacey as the incompetent Sales Manager, and Alec Baldwin as the Type A VP of Sales.

Neither portrayal would be an effective recruitment movie for the sales profession, yet you know when you meet a professional Salesperson today! They establish trust with their clients by putting the clients’ interests first. Their belief in the company’s products and services and their ability to help their clients build up revenues and brand is paramount! A professional Salesperson has the confidence and desire to achieve their goals, and the competitive spirit to always meet challenges head on.

Today’s successful New Business initiatives have to be multi-channel strategies incorporating all of the staff and digital services previously mentioned above. The Salesman, however, is not dead: he is typically leading the charge!

Author: Ralph Fucci


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