“The Emissary Files” features Emissaries in our network, providing insight into their experience and businesses they have helped sell smarter, close faster, and win more.
Introducing Nick James: Former CIO/Engineering Leader at GE
What's your favorite part of being an Emissary?
The great thing about Emissary is that, because it's so flexible, you can pretty much fit it around anything else. And that means that I can integrate it with a bunch of other stuff I'm doing.
What was the best advice you gave to a company that impacted their deal?
One of my clients had a requirements management platform they were trying to sell to GE. They didn’t really understand, however, the particular pain point at GE that this platform solved for: There is intense pressure in GE to bring things in on time and on budget. When the business side asks IT to add a feature without going through cost re-evaluation or authorization of the requirements, it throws all kinds of red flags at the monthly ops meetings.
Although the client knew that their product could control requirements, and therefore create this sort of traceability, they hadn’t quite connected it to the very real stress point. I pointed that out, and when they went back to one of the program managers in GE and presented their pitch with that new focus, it really resonated. They now have three separate points of contact within GE and have just presented to one of the most senior figures at the GE “Center of Excellence” in San Ramon, California.
What should every seller do when using Emissary?
Identify the pain point of your account, first. The question of who you should talk to is of very limited value, because unless you get the pitch right, it doesn't matter who you talk to—you’re still not going to succeed. Sometimes, the clients think, "Well, we'll just check in with this advisor, because he'll have something useful to say." Well, he might, but the more you can hone the value that you want to get out of this, the more likely you will be to get it.
The more you can hone the value that you want to get out of this, the more likely you will be to get it.
Why did you become an Emissary?
It’s so interesting to hear the sales process from the other side of the table. The process itself helps keep my brain alive. I can feel myself really focusing and working quite hard on these calls to just try to make sure that we get the greatest value out of them.
What is the biggest value of Emissary for sales teams?
For sales leaders who’ve lived with a product or service for a long time, it’s easy to get tunnel vision. It is really useful to have someone ask the dumb questions. Coming from a different angle and from an utterly different functional set, I can offer a very fresh perspective. I can be the one to ask, "Well, actually, how does that work?" I've found once or twice in each call, I've asked a question and it's led to a discussion where we've gone, "Yeah, actually, that needs changing!" If you do it with tact and humility, it can be valuable.
I've asked a question and it's led to a discussion where we've gone, 'Yeah, actually, that needs changing!'