50 years ago, the success or failure a sale was carried completely by the salesperson. Leads were sketchy, there was little to no sales process of any kind, there was certainly no automation—and it was totally up to the sales rep and his or her skills.
Through the 1980s and the 1990s, the pendulum swung in the opposite direction. Sales management was hammering out strict methodologies that were to be followed to the letter. Sales processes were evolved that took a sale from lead to close. Complex computer programs were developed to carefully track sales. Salespeople were given scripts that were literally read to prospects on the phone. The idea was to totally “automate” sales—and the salesperson was slated to become little more than a robot.
But today the pendulum is swinging the other way—and it is once again the salesperson is back. It’s now down to the sales force to carry off the sales with their wits and their skills. Research is uncovering the fact that especially in the B2B arena, it is human salespeople that are going to carry through the sales quotas—or not. Here are 5 reasons why.
1.The Educated Buyer
A good part of the reason for the changes in sales are changes on the other side: the buyers. Because of the vast migration of business to the internet, information about products and services is plentiful. Where once upon a time buyers relied heavily on salespeople for such information, they can now spend a bit of time online and gather plentiful information on your product, on your competitor’s product, and what other business owners or users are saying about both.
2. A Buyer Wants Your Insights
When that educated buyer comes to you, he or she is expecting you to not only be a total expert on your product and its place in the market and industry. They expect you to provide insights into why your product would be best for their company; what issues it would solve and what the benefits would be and why.
3. You Are Also Selling You
Another factor has been put forth since sales were first invented, but it has become almost more true today than ever: you are also selling yourself. In and of itself that element will not convince anyone to buy from you—but given your expertise on the industry, your product, your competition and knowledge of the buyer’s company, your being personable and likable could push that sale over the edge. The buyer actually looks forward to your calls and will take them-even cold calls. They are partially motivated by who you are and how much they want to do business with you as a person.
Part of what will sell you as a person is your willingness to help, quite aside from selling your product or service. When that becomes obvious to the buyer, they realize your motivation is not just to “make a buck” and they’re much more willing to confide in and deal with you.
4. Within the Complexity, You Are Stability
In B2B sales process the products and services are often complex—which means that choosing and buying them can also be complex. Your confidence, knowledge and personality can bring a stability to the buyer in the midst of all that complexity. If you do your job well enough you become the “go to” person in your prospect company’s decision-making process, and no competition can beat that.
5. Armed with the Right Tools for Your Sales Training
Of course, you must also be armed with the right CRM solution so that you can easily and carefully track and control the sale as it moves along the sales pipeline or sales funnel. This is especially important if you have many prospects you are working (which is usually the case in today’s hectic business world). The degree to which you can instantly record and access all the information you need for smoothly conducting a sale is the degree to which you will be able to fulfill the 4 other points above.
So yes, members of the sales force—it is totally up to you!
If you are not armed with the right CRM solution, get your free trial of Pipeliner CRM now.