Overcoming Internal Obstacles to Achieve Successful Sales

Overcoming Internal Obstacles to Achieve Successful Sales

By Ken Wagner | February 8, 2024

Overcoming Internal Obstacles to Achieve Successful Sales

By Ken Wagner | February 8, 2024

In my career spanning over three decades at Henry Elliott & Company, I’ve come to firmly believe that business development and customer retention are the cornerstones of any successful organization. This belief isn’t just a professional mantra but a conviction shaped by those years of experience. 

Business development professionals, like myself, thrive in this environment because we bring a passion for the work. We understand that building and nurturing customer relationships requires patience, preparation, and a level of professional persistence that goes beyond the norm.

The Heart of Business Success: Revenue Generation

Let’s talk about revenue. It’s the lifeblood of any business. I’ve seen firsthand how revenue generation can gracefully cover up mistakes, fuel research and development, eliminate leverage, and enable acquisitions and joint ventures. It’s the driving force that positions a company for long-term success. Every dollar spent in an organization is a financial investment, and this perspective shapes how I approach business expenses. 

Instead of viewing costs negatively, I see them as necessary investments for growth. This perspective is also critical when considering vendor relations. I view our vendors as true partners with a vested interest in our mutual success.

Business Development: More Than Just Sales

As business development professionals, we are the face of Henry Elliott & Company. We are the ambassadors who convey our vision and value to customers. Our role is to be problem solvers, to be creative and positive. We are always looking for what the company can gain rather than what it might lose.

But it’s not just about us. I have immense respect for our legal, accounting, procurement, and internal human resources professionals. They often save us from ourselves, highlighting the importance of teamwork and understanding each other’s roles within the organization.

Strategic Partner Selection

I’ve always selected law and accounting/financial firms that understand what we do and take the time to continuously stay informed about our business. When our procurement department collaborates with our clients’ procurement and legal teams, we always remember that they are our customers too. Alongside procurement collaboration, we’re here to provide them with value and compliance. This approach has taught us the importance of negotiating contracts that are not adversarial but rather set the stage for long-term business relationships.

Our clients require provisions, and we must assume a level of risk and trust to do business. I also learned to identify and communicate the most important provisions from our perspective. That way, we can protect the key aspects of an agreement while each of us gains a thorough understanding of what matters to the other party.

Collaboration and Alignment

Collaboration should define the relationship between our business development department and its procurement, financial, and legal teams. When in alignment, they can more effectively support our creative and sales efforts, provide necessary resources, and help maintain a balance between ambition and practicality. They also ensure adherence to best practices, which is particularly important when dealing with federal customers. This internal synergy is foundational to maintaining and growing these relationships.

The Importance of Financial Awareness

A significant part of our role involves understanding the financial implications of our business decisions. Working closely with our finance department, we strive to add efficiency and balance to our sales strategies. It’s not just about closing deals but understanding the cost of each sale and ensuring it aligns with our financial goals.

The Role of Human Resources in Business Development

Our human resources department plays a crucial role in ensuring competitive compensation and benefits while staying current with the latest compliance protocols. They help us attract and retain top talent, which is essential for maintaining our competitive edge and delivering high-quality services to our clients.

Understanding Roles and Priorities

By taking the time to fully understand the roles of our internal colleagues and those of our clients, we see how interconnected we all are. It’s about understanding and respecting each other’s priorities. We all aim to perform our tasks successfully and timely, but it’s the understanding of each other’s priorities that leads to better alignment and mutual respect.

Final Thoughts: Beyond Being a Vendor

At Henry Elliott & Company, our focus extends beyond typical client-vendor relationships. We aim to be strategic partners, bringing long-term value and customer-centric solutions. That means sales go hand in hand with building sustainable partnerships that foster mutual growth and success.

To potential clients and partners out there, we invite you to start a conversation with us. We look forward to the opportunity to show you the Henry Elliott & Company difference. Contact us today or call us directly at 781-416-9900

Ken Wagner is the President and Founder of Henry Elliott & Company. 


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