If you are a sales person working in a B2B company its highly likely you have one or two rainmakers in your sales peer group. Its also likely that many on your sales team envy those rainmakers for their uncanny ability to beat their sales objectives in a big way, year over year over year. Many sales people will rationalize that rainmakers have superior territories, get the most preferential pricing, or get more bluebirds than anyone else. While some of the above observations may be true, one of the major differentiators between a rainmaker and an average sales person is the rainmakers ability to have strong long-term INTERNAL relationships.
You may be thinking to yourself its no surprise that a sales person must be a good relationship builder, but many in sales forget that they need the help and support of a variety of internal departments to sell effectively. Rainmakers on the other hand, know that to be successful they must manage internal resources in much the same way that they manage prospects through the sales process.
One of the key factors that separates rainmakers from the rest of the sales team is their ability to effectively orchestrate internal resources.
Watch how your top sales people interact with the finance and operations teams as they work deals. You will find that top sales people are very organized and communicate very effectively with internal teams. They strive to make sure that they provide all the information needed by each team member to make it easy for them to do their job right the first time. Top rainmakers also make sure that they share their sales successes liberally with the rest of the organization. Recognizing a proposal team for their long hours on a deal or recognizing finance for the winning pricing options they created really help solidify that sales is a team sport!
If you are a sales person on the verge of rainmaker status, take the time to build strong internal relationships with everyone that supports your selling activities. Nothing galvanizes internal teams like positive feedback, individual recognition, and winning more deals. Take the time to review your key relationships and make a New Years resolution to make them better in 2013.