Broker of Capabilities

Published on February 29, 2016

Introducing Value Drivers #4

Value over price. How and when does that happen?

This my fourth post to introduce four Value Drivers from Neil Rackham’s research into the attributes of world class salespeople. Next week, my final Blog in this series will give you some ideas on how top performers delivered these value drivers.

As the forth value driver (#1 Discovering the Unrecognised Problem, #2 Identifying the Unanticipated Solution and #3 Exploring the Unseen Opportunity), was originally proposed as strategic level cross sell with existing customers,but I think it is far more powerful. Rackham cites Marcel Proust:

“The only real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes”.

Broker of capabilities is a higher level relationship capability which is a “symbiosis” for the first three value drivers. Here, the seller can draw on the full scope of his or her firm’s capabilities to produce a more desirable outcome for the buyer. As a “broker, the seller is able to set aside self-interest for the greeter good to produce something that is better for all parties by acting as an intermediary between the seller and their own firm.

At the time, Rackham quotes three key trends that necessitate cross selling activities, as illustrated:


There is a further dimension to the Broker of Capabilities value driver that deserves successful sales and account management focus, i.e. customer capabilities.

Cross selling initiatives can fail because they can be a product (or service) push rather than creating value.

A focus on placing customer capabilities into the value creating mix leads to much more of a win/win outcome but one that is also sustainable in the longer term because it compliments or extend the current skill set within the customer.