HBO’s Silicon Valley is now in its 3rd season in episode 2 the new CEO of Pied Piper, Action Jack Barker, was explaining to Pied Piper founder, Richard Hendricks, about why the Sales needs to strip down the offering and simplify it vs. “Selling the harder stuff”. Richard’s point was that Pied Piper could become the global standard for file compression and storage where every mobile devise could access their data as if they had a fiber optic cable coming from it. Jack’s response was, “…the way you keep the best sales people is that you need to give them something easy to sell, otherwise they just go somewhere else.”
The conflict between Product and Sales is a constant battle. Sales is constantly going back to Product and saying the buyer doesn’t understand or that they could sell only if it had these features. While Product always gets on Sales for not demonstrating the product or showing how it would be of benefit to the buyer. The conflict between Sales and product goes back and forth in a never-ending whirlwind of what they buyer wants and what they don’t want with Sales always being the translator of the buyer’s perspective. But have you ever heard of lost in translation?
How does Product make a product that Sales can then sell and a Buyer will then buy?
Have someone other than Sales ask the Buyer, preferably a 3rd party. Why is this important? When Sales asks the Buyer they are using the Sales filter. If Product asks the Buyer they are using the product filter. When you have someone asking from outside the engagement without any affiliation you are able to gather the true consensus on what they Buyer really wants, without a filter. This gives Product the true sentiments on the product and Sales the real reasons why they are even talking with the organization in the first place.
So what happens next in Silicon Valley? Will Richard and the engineers win out with all the great robust industry innovating features or will Sales win out with being able to sell an easy to sell product? I guess we find out Sunday evening who will win out on that fight.