Who’s the MVP on your sales team? And more importantly, why?
Through Upstream Group, I’ve gotten to work with thousands of digital sellers and managers over the past 21 years. And I can guess why your team MVP is winning the award. It’s for very different reasons than you might have awarded the prize ten or fifteen years ago.
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In 2004 your MVP was probably a lone wolf… a rainmaker with a Rolodex, charm and boundary issues. It was a wide open, upwardly mobile time in the business. The name of the game was revenue. Full stop. Just get the deals… put numbers on the board…prove the concept… satisfy the investors or the markets. You didn’t have a separate rule book for your MVP, but you might as well have. Don’t worry about profit or sustainability… you make the numbers, we’ll make the business.
By 2009 the world had changed, and you judged MVP 2.0 by a different measure. He or she was a part of the system… could work the machine, whether that machine was a trading desk or the RFP rhythms of an agency media team. While MVP 1.0 knew which ears to bend, 2.0 knew which buttons to push. If digital selling was a game, she’d have been the one who bothered to read the inside of the box. Don’t worry what the machine is actually producing… run it well and make it work in our favor.
Ten years later we live in yet another very different era. Clients are demanding real outcomes with real customers based on real data. Digital media and marketing are exponentially more complex and layered, and sales success is more interdependent than ever before. MVP 3.0 gets the award today because she’s able to lead others to excellence. He can sit at the middle of a project and organize, inspire and reward those around him. She makes her teammates better even as she navigates them toward success for the client – a client who has infinitely more choices but is likely to be spending more with fewer vendors. Don’t just make the numbers…make them work for the client and for us. Margin matters and so do our people. Make them both better.
On April 4th at the 212NYC Gala at the Edison Ballroom on Times Square, I’ll be presenting the third annual Weaver Awards for Digital Sales Excellence. One award will go to a manager and the other to an individual contributor who are defining excellence in the New York market. If there’s someone on your team who improves the lives and the success of those around them – someone who moves your whole organization that much closer to excellence – please take the time to nominate him or her today. (Then be sure to tell him or her that you did!) We’ll take nominations through Tuesday March 19th and will contact and interview finalists shortly after.
There’s an MVP 3.0 on your team. There are scores of them at work in our industry every day. Thanks for taking the time to recognize yours and showing our peers what excellence looks like.