In my former interactive agency we had several very different cultures under one roof: Salespeople, Strategist, and those responsible for delivery. Because our projects tended to be very complex we leaned heavily on the strength of our project managers to deliver what was promised on time and on budget.
I always felt like our great project managers were the equivalent of the computer system in a well-engineered car. They understand load capacity, timing, sequencing and a mind-boggling array of factors and conditions that need to be addressed to assure the project performs smoothly. Ironically these same instincts that are great for project management can neutralize the right environment to close a deal. Our best project managers usually tell me with no shame, “I don’t like to sell…at all.”
Why? Selling and influencing require very different mental skills and orientation. You do not have to look very deeply to see how different the scenes are that call each discipline forward, and how each scene requires different mental skills and orientation to be successful.