Sales in the Information Age
The information Age is changing many things. Marketing connected to Artificial Intelligence (AI), technology and massive amounts of data is increasingly exploiting the Information Age to mean that most buyers are empowered as never before.
Simple sales are disappearing. In this world ‘sales’ people are no longer required in many business-to-consumer (B2C) and simple business-to-business (B2B) situations. They are simply order takers, if they are human at all.
The evidence is already becoming clear. According to Gartner Inc. Over the next five years, an exponential rise in digital interactions between buyers and suppliers will break traditional sales models. Gartner’s Future of Sales research shows that by 2025, 80% of B2B sales interactions between suppliers and buyers will occur in digital channels. Meaning 33% of all buyers desire a seller-free sales experience – a preference that climbs to 44% for millennials.
However in more complex sales, typically those that involve more than one interaction with the prospective customer, an organisation being ‘good at selling’ is becoming more important than ever before. But what does ‘good at selling’ mean?
Navigating the Re-Birth
Actually, it is not the action of selling that needs addressing. It’s not really about the sales process either, although this is an important piece of it, if understood correctly. This is about how sales works in and with the other elements of an organisation.
Since an organisation structured to pick the right deals with the right customers will maximise opportunities away from the disruption. This will make innovators successful more quickly, with the right relationships to propel them to the forefront of their markets by making their customers successful.
Now what was sometimes referred to as ‘consultative selling’ has to be the basis of sales engagement along with an ethical approach. Helping buyers as trusted experts and advisors navigate complex markets full of nuance and hidden information.
Sales is at the forefront of diversity and inclusion strategies. It is imperative that any sales team is able to effectively connect with the people who work with their prospective customers.
There are thousands of inventive start-up companies aiming to take advantage of this period of uncertainty. They have the opportunity to create new product, services and business models. To emerge as new leaders. There are large incumbent organisations that are grappling with modernising their position in the marketplace. They need to take advantage of these disruptive environments and maintain their dominant positions – or try and find new ones.
But, what is the use of having a terrific product or innovative new service if you can’t engage in a proper way with potential customers? As we rapidly move further into the Information Age, many people are unable to keep up with the changing pace. Therefore making it difficult to find good people to hire for any part of a business, including salespeople.
As a result, an intelligent approach to sales is, and will increasingly become, a significant differentiator for an organisation with these products and services going forward.
If you get the sales approach right for your company, then, with some energy and investment, the rest should fall into place.
This book will is designed for people who need it most – the CEOs, management and investors in the company. From someone who has been building teams in this environment for over 20 years.
About the Author
STEVE SCHRIER has been in multinational commercial roles for nearly 30 years in the technology sector. Including roles in the UK and the Bay Area of San Francisco.
Steve has been on the journey from start-up to exit several times in his career. Focusing on high business growth through proven commercial engagement techniques.
The Build your Sales Tribe – Sales in the Information Age book is now available from all major book stores.
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