I love it when it happens. When someone on my team has an idea that no one thought of — a creative way to solve a problem. It’s awesome. I love it when creativity happens. Creativity is key in creating differentiation. Creativity shrinks supply. Low supply creates demand. High demand is a good thing.
Fred Wilson had a good post the other day on what he sees as the transition from engineering to creativity in application development. I am seeing something similar in sales.
I look for creative sales people. It’s the one skill, when present, that always works.
When I say creative, I mean a sales artist, a problem solving artist, someone who does not create constraints or artificial hurdles.
Today’s business environment is more difficult than ever. It moves at lightning speed. Competition is fierce. Without creativity it’s almost impossible to compete. Problems can’t be solved as new ideas aren’t discovered fast enough.
There is a difference between creative sales and the science of sales. Today’s complex business environment demands creativity to uncover, solve and create more than ever. Is there something wrong with the traditional, science based, numbers oriented sales approach, no. But, it’s not enough anymore. What once put you in the lead is now only good enough for middle of the pack. In today’s more complex world creativity makes the difference. Customers have access to more information. They are smarter, more educated, and more prepared than any other time in the history of sales. Customers are specific, focused, and in control.
I’m seeing a clear trend in sales people over the past few years. The creative, the sales artist is winning more. I am hiring more for creativity and less for the science. My teams have been more open, artistic, and creative than when I first started selling. I’m not sure if other sales leaders are seeing this or hiring for the same trend, but it is certainly working for my teams.