The Oxford dictionary defines the verb ‘originate’ as ‘to create or initiate something’.
What makes this definition interesting, you ask?
In sales, originating is the comprehensive process of initiating new transactions: making sure the transaction pipeline is filled and that the deals keep flowing. This entails aspects such as evaluating, negotiating on and reaching agreements with regard to the scope and terms of a potential deal or opportunity. In other words: it is the entire process leading up to the deal itself, during which it is crucial to establish, maintain and expand the relationships with various parties.
To get back to the Oxford dictionary for a moment: it also mentions creation. Fertile soil, in other words, for salespeople to use multiple approaches to sell their services and/or products:
* Based on their solid relationship with various parties;
* Based on the unique service or product on offer;
* Based on a customised sales methodology that centres on the client’s unique desire and therefore the proposition.
My take on originating in a sales context…
Creation, then, is like planting a seed, something that can germinate and grow and might – eventually – turn into a deal. That seed could be a potential proposition or solution, maybe even one in connection with a challenge that has yet to manifest itself but is still there, in latent form. Marching in the vanguard, full of new ideas, together with various partners and stakeholders, in co-creation, daring to take risks: these are the winning propositions of tomorrow!
To my mind, this should yield a kind of tenacity, a commitment to managing your own network effectively and keeping a constant eye out for potential forms of collaboration. The world of sales has undergone drastic changes, too: from more strongly transactional to consultative; from ‘I’ to ‘you’ and ‘we’; from closed to open and transparent; from untouchable to vulnerable.
I’d like to see every company find its own manner of originating, in which sales are created almost organically and might just lead to long(er) term partnerships. And for support? Call Prospectory (ask for Fokko Timmer) and ask how your company stands to benefit from originating as well.