How can intra-collaboration approaches enhance sales performance in a complex global enterprise?

22nd September 2017 |   Laurent Douek


Working most of my career for global companies like PWC, IBM and SAP, I have been confronted with solutions and services of rising complexity, which are sold and delivered to increasingly knowledgeable customers in a competitive and transforming global environment. The daily activities of my sales team in direct relation with its customer are central: they are understanding the customer’s goals, business issues, industry, organisation, buying centres and relevant stakeholders. Furthermore, they are communicating with the customer at different hierarchical levels and aligning mutual expectations. Finally, they are designing and building the appropriate solution, demonstrating the solution’s benefits mapped to customer’s business requirements and pain points, developing and presenting value propositions, creating a compelling event and negotiating terms and conditions.

The variety of these activities and the required competencies demonstrate that selling complex solutions is not a “one-man show”. Thus, my sales representatives must exploit their own organisation and its resources. They must collaborate in an effective manner among all engaged contributors, prior to and during the sales process, and finally achieve their objective: winning the deal. This is a challenging task in a global and matrix organisation like SAP.

This study focuses on intra-organisational collaboration or relationships within the enterprise’s network and its stakeholders to impact sales results positively. Multiple roles across multiple lines of businesses and hierarchy levels can be engaged on a sales deal. Each of these roles, or internal stakeholders, while effectively collaborating with each other can contribute to the success of a deal, and eventually to overall sales results of the organisation.

VP Sales, Middle and Eastern Europe at SAP

Laurent Douek is VP Sales, Middle and Eastern Europe at SAP and has have been working for global management consulting and technology enterprises in delivery and sales positions for more than 20 years. He has spent the past 12 years in sales at SAP, market leader in enterprise application software with 335,000 customers in 190 countries. He has been leading a team of nine “specialised” or “overlay” sales representatives covering a niche software portfolio in Middle and Eastern Europe for the past two years. This region covers diverse markets in terms of maturity, culture and size: Germany, Switzerland, Austria, and Eastern Europe including the Russian Federation.