If you are a sales manager, major account executive or are responsible for high-value client relationships, you may have noticed that subject matter experts are most effective in peer-to-peer discussions, where a defined scope of work has been established.
Internal experts who can nix the decision to hire you are:
project implementation people
vendor relations departments
They seldom have final budget authority.
If you are a specialist practitioner, it is likely that your access and affinity is with the “implementer” role. This may be where your network takes you.
However, a single point of access and visibility with a single stakeholder is not enough to become a preferred vendor company-wide.
I have discovered that broad-ranging “discovery” conversations, held with players in each of the 3 stakeholder roles BEFORE a project is defined is the most effective way of differentiating yourself:
Meeting everyone in the role of check signer, influencer and implementer reduces nasty detours after you’ve submitted your proposal. People in these roles have the power of veto and you may not have found out who they were before you drilled down to a solution with the subject matter experts.