February 20, 2012 Keenan

The Rain Maker is DEAD!

The Rain Maker is a dinosaur. The days of the kick-ass, lonewolf, rainmaking sales person is done. Sales has become too complex and too customer centric for a single sales person to make rain.

Back in the day, selling supported a rain making person. Armed with determination, creativity, information, (lots’ of information) customers, prospects AND other sales people didn’t have, the rain maker was the king of sales. They were called rain makers because they were able to drive astonishing amounts of revenue on their own.

For good or bad, today’s selling world isn’t conducive to the lone sales person making it rain dollar bills. It requires pursuit teams. It takes teams of people with vary skills and knowledge all focused toward helping the customer improve its business.

Sales is far more complex today. Customers and prospects demand broad business oriented solutions to solving their business problems, not just products. They are resistent to change because they don’t have time and are afraid of the inherent risk change brings. Clients and prospects are crazy busy, overburdened with their day to day. The connected work place has customers and prospects focused on the here and now, unable to look strategically down the road. Today’s sales environment requires selling motions and approaches that are responsive to these and other changes. They require motions and approaches that are impossible for a single person to execute on.

Don’t get me wrong, there are going to be Superstar Sales people.  Like Rain Makers once were, Superstars will be the best of the best in your organization. However, it’s about team selling now. Individual selling is all but gone or going quickly. Rain Makers are being replaced by Superstars who can rally the team to; solve the most difficult challenges, leverage the best resources, capture the customers and prospects attention, enlist the broader organization, create the best solutions, and more. Superstars, unlike Rain Makers, work with and through other people. They sell by leading and motivating teams. They are successful with and through others, not in spite of.

Don’t look for Rain Makers. Look for Superstars, people who, with others, can make it rain. Selling has changed and is continuing to change. It takes more than one killer sales person to blow it up. It takes teams, teams of varying skills, talents and knowledge to make it happen. Superstars know how to make it rain, they just know they can’t do it alone.

Rain Makers are dead!

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Comments (3)

  1. hansod

    I think rain makers were mostly a myth in the first place. Sure, there were a few people that had the quantity and quality of relationships to move jobs and create that kind of revenue quickly. However, most of the people I knew that ever hired a rain maker  ended up disappointed. More often than not, it was the product, the company, the support structure in place for both pre and post sales support that was the real key, not the individual sales guy. I’ll even put myself in that category as I was hired (once) under those circumstances. It turns out I couldn’t go from a mature stable software company to a start up with a half-baked product that barely qualified as a beta and maintain the same kind of results.

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