The downside of sales specialization


A good many sales organizations have adopted the Predictable Revenue model of sales role specialization (separating lead generation, lead qualification, opportunity engagement & closing into separate functions and people) for good reason.  It works, it’s scalable, it creates a natural career progression for inside sales reps, and it aligns with the changing nature of today’s educated buyers.

One significant downside, however, is that specialization makes it difficult if not impossible to develop personal, long-lasting relationships that traditionally, and materially, lead to higher conversions on the initial sale.

Once you’ve closed that first deal, the field rep or someone in account management can build, sustain and grow the relationship.  But for lead qualifiers that treat prospects like a number, and are often measured by a high-volume flowthrough of leads to qualify and pass along, relationship building isn’t a priority.

This isn’t to say that sales specialization isn’t a good idea.  It’s just worth intentionally considering the opportunity cost of losing the relationship building up front.

Buyers, especially in B2B, often buy from their favorite vs who might actually be the best.  They buy on emotion as much as logic.

The bigger the sale, the higher the consideration to purchase, the higher the opportunity cost of not prioritizing the relationship up front.

If anything, it’s another reason for inside and field teams to work in a highly coordinated manner to engage and build relationships with their target accounts.

And if you’re in marketing and engaged in account-based marketing efforts, you can have a direct impact on how well that works too.