Choosing your sponsor wisely is even more important than I thought.
After 20+ years in the field I didn't expect to be surprised by anything in sales and project management. Peter Taylor's The Lazy Project Manager (not an affiliate link) has changed that.
The opening chapters of Peter's book have impressed upon me the significance of choosing your sponsor with care.
The question is not: "Can I make the sale?" It's: "How can I rig the game for success once we've made the sale?"
If you're a Hit And Run-type salesperson, I've probably lost you. But you'll find out quickly enough... throwing the ball down the field to the implementation team, without having set up the conditions for success, is a game plan for failure. The project team in charge of installing the solution may well improvise their way to a win but you sure have made it hard for them.
For those who care that what you sold is what gets delivered... Peter Taylor has described this key strategic element of the sale and execution in a way I haven't seen done before.
The Impact Of Choosing Your Sponsor With Care
Whether we're in an academic setting and finding the right sponsor for our smallsat development project...
...or seeking the "buyer behind the buyer" who is the real executive customer up the food chain...
...having the right sponsor in place means the difference between having the support we need to achieve change -- or the unpleasant discovery that the project is doomed to fail (check out those percentages) because it lacks both intent and resources.
I spent most of 2016 working with a change management expert who only dealt with tech firms of 1000+ staff.
I saw how important getting the right sponsor in place was then, but my eyes and brain were focused more on operational issues of managing change. Looking back, he did a good job of what Peter Taylor recommends... and the results of his projects testified to his deliberate efforts up front.
Go get Peter's book. It'll chance the way you view sales as well as project management, and your success rates will rise if you implement his recommendations.
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