Seller-Doer With A Side Of Client-Centric Strategy

PSMJ Resources, Inc.
Posted on: 06/12/18
Written by: PSMJ Resources, Inc.

Though the concept of seller-doer has been around for quite a while, it’s still relevant and, combined with a client-centric strategy, the model can mean big wins for design firms. Research shows that typically an architecture or engineering firm gets 80 percent of its revenues from current and past clients who are kept in the fold by their seller-doers. 

According to SMPS’s “Sell. Do. Win Business. A Report on How A/E/C Firms are Using Staff to Win More Work” many current seller-doers’ responsibilities are extremely client-oriented, as indicated in the chart below.

PSMJ_AUG2017_Chart 1

But they have their challenges and to provide true client-centric service, some training may be necessary. According to Scott D. Butcher, FSMPS, CPSM, seller-doers have very specific traits and tasks:

• Typically not trained in sales techniques (unlike BDs)
• Manage client relationships and drive new business from existing clients
• Balance billable work with sales responsibilities, which could fluctuate between 10 percent and 50 percent of their time
• Often are the only employee engaged in business development in smaller/specialized firms

The work of seller-doers is not redundant with that of business development (BD). Rather, BD staff enhance the effectiveness of seller doers. When pursuing major projects, experts recommend the BD and seller doers work in tandem, with the seller doer functioning as proposal manager and the business developer working as a sales lead. The following chart shows how combining both skill sets helps to win a big pursuit:

ACTIVITY                                     SALES LEAD      PROPOSAL MANAGER
Identify specific opportunities                 X
with quality clients
Make go/no go recommendation             X
Recommend a proposal manager            X
Develop “win” themes and strategy        X                                         X
Establish a proposal team, budget,          X                                         X
and schedules
Obtain client intelligence (ongoing)        X
Assess the competition                            X
Manage the proposal effort                     
Lead the “red” team                                 X 
Ensure success                                         X                                          X

To deliver true client-centric service everyone needs to work together to provide a seamless customer experience. To do this well and differentiate your firm in the process, consider these five questions:

1. How should we change incentives and priorities?
2. Does our organizational structure work?
3. How can we provide personalized customer experiences (technology) that allows us to still make a comfortable profit?
4. What business processes need to change?
5. How do we make necessary adjustments without disrupting current operations?


Turning Your Doers Into Sellers_Ebook (1)In PSMJ's free ebook Turning Your Doers into Sellers, we help you navigate through some of the thornier parts of getting started as well as implementing a realistic and successful Seller-Doer program.


You also might be interested in these related posts:

10 Financial Commandments

Get Your Team in Marketing Gear

Marketing: Your Best Strategic Weapon





January 14, 2022

Signs Point to Continued Optimism in A/E/C Markets

  For many architecture, engineering, and construction (A/E/C) firms, 2021 was a year of robust growth and record-setting profits… and confidence appears high that 2022 will be..

Read More
January 10, 2022

2022 AEC Business Compliance Checklist

This message is brought to you by our partners at Harbor Compliance, providing expert services and purpose-built software so you can take government licensing requirements in..

Read More
January 3, 2022

AEC Firms Take Steps to Benefit from Infrastructure Bill

Actively upgrading CRM systems can help win more opportunities This message is brought to you by our partners at aec360. A key solution from HSO, Microsoft’s largest independent..

Read More