In 2 of India’s large organizations – read as – start-ups that have become big – we found that there was some tension between VP Product and VP Engineering. The VP Engineering said, “Pradeep, we liked App Achhi but this needs the VP Products approval” and then we rush to the VP Products to sell the value of App Achhi and then he talks about the challenges he has with engineering team and asked us to build a product that will solve that problem 🙂

Why does this happen?

In any company – disagreement is common – yet decision making should be fast and not a musical chair. When I am talking to people who are in the position of VP – they should be decision makers and not behave like – I got to get an approval from each other to spend 10 K INR. If a VP needs approval to spend that money especially if the funding is in tens of millions of dollars – you’d rather be the VP Marketing than VP Engineering or VP Products. It is the culture and the kind of hiring the culture has allowed to happen. This is why one start-up disrupts the other and eventually they also become that big start-up that has two VP’s fighting with each other.

Who am I to say what other companies and start-ups should do. Why am I even talking about this. This has impacted Sales of a lot of organizations and selling to grown-ups (instead of start-ups) is such a mountainous task.

Whom should we sell to?

So, assume your answer is to the CEO – then it is hardest to sell because CEO’s are CEO’s. Imagine why would a Founder who has raised 100+ M dollars even talk to you. Who are you? Who am I? The answer is not the CEO by designation – but CEO by action. The VP Products is the CEO of Products and the VP Engineering is the CEO of Engineering.

So, good sales are known to ask – “Who calls the shot for this! Let me talk to that person.”. I hope to meet more people who act like a CEO of their department.