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Sales and Delivery: The One Team Theme for Project Managers

A Venn Diagram Interaction Model

By Donald R Hammons, MBA

USA


Project Managers are often challenged with ramping new projects that have come through the ‘sales pipeline’ into the delivery organization.  Often times, schedules have been set, staff sizing has been completed and commitments have been made to the clients ‘prior’ to the due diligence being completed at the project level.  This challenge often places projects at risk before they even get off the ground.  There is a better way.

Sales to Delivery – The Setup

My own experience has been that Sales Teams and Professional Services Delivery Teams are often disparate units with variant missions.  On the Sales side, we applaud these folks because they’re the ones doing the hard work ‘hitting the streets’ to bring in net-new business and project wins.  However, whether it’s products or services, most experienced project management or professional services delivery professionals have had the experience of a ‘new and urgent’ deal being pushed through the organization and ‘thrown over the wall’ to the delivery teams.  There are a number of rational reasons why this may occur.

First, the business environment is extremely competitive and those sales teams that are empowered and capable of driving their leads and opportunities through the sales process to achieve a ‘win’ are the stalwarts of any enterprise.  While personal compensation for these sales leaders is certainly a driver for them personally, there are other pressures they are reacting to such as a company hitting a quarterly sales and new revenue target or penetrating a new account for strategic or scalability purposes.  All of these aims are notable and not necessarily counter to effective delivery.

Second, sales teams are often ‘outside the process’ when it comes to ‘sales stages’.  The most prolific users of enterprise sales team software packages or cloud enablement suites such as Salesforce.com can preclude this by managing their opportunities tightly within the defined sales stage categories thereby providing delivery and support organizations with the necessary proactive visibility to new demands.   Business realities often preclude this however and opportunities that are often forecasted as ‘warm’  or mid-stage often become hot quickly as new information or strategic advantages are uncovered through the sales process and those ‘quick wins’ can stress a professional services or delivery team.

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About the Author

Donald R. Hammons, MBA

Donald R Hammons began his career in the US Navy Telecommunications field and has spent the past 20 years delivering successful IT and Cloud project engagements for enterprise clients in North America and Asia-Pacific.  Don is presently the Chairman of Majorca Group Consulting, LLC, Co-Founder of Majorca Group’s InvestigatorEngine product, and he is the Vice President for Client Solutions- Cloud/Mobility Verticals with Dibon Technologies, Inc.  Don holds a Master’s PM certification from the University of Texas at Dallas, a Bachelor of Science in Business Education from the University of Central Arkansas, a Master of Science in Program Management and the M.B.A. graduate degree from the University of Texas at Dallas.  Don is a prior National Management Association (NMA) Chapter Manager of the Year.  He can be contacted at [email protected].