Last week we took a trip down memory lane, looking at past sales techniques. However, there is a reason these techniques are now in the past. Buyers no longer wanted a sales pitch, but a valuable conversation and vendor-buyer relationship. Technology continued to advance and today the sales world has become revolutionised by the power of digital technology, creating the ‘modern buyer’ (Roberge, 2015). Sales organisations must adapt to the latest innovations in order to remain relevant, altering the role of the salesperson as we once knew it.
The Era Of The Digital Revolution
Digital technology has equipped the modern buyer with a vast amount of information. On average buyers now complete up to 60% of the decision-making journey independently forming a research first, engage second buying approach (Corporate Executive Board, 2014). Salespeople can no longer walk into a sales meeting and pitch a list of specifics about a particular product or service, the modern buyers focus is not on price, but value and a vendor-buyer relationship built on trust.
Purchase decisions may have hinged on promises from a salesperson in the past. However, today’s modern buyer makes purchase decisions based off not only a salesperson’s promise but the ongoing value and support from vendors. Buyers want vendors who will endeavor to ensure the maximum beneficial value is gained from the product or service, enhancing the overall operations of their organisation. Sales meetings must take the form of sales conversations, with sales content customized to each buyer’s specific stage in the decision-making journey. Thus sales efforts now rely on real-time data and analytics and digitization of sales enablement.
No longer preparing for sales meetings months in advance, salespeople can now easily access quality sales content just in time via digital devices. Digitized access to sales content enables key sales messages to be standardized. One sales message is communicated by many voices, aligned to the decision-making journey, increasing sales productivity by 56% (Forbes Insights, 2015).
The modern buyer only sees value in products and services if sales conversations are put into context with their organisation. Buyers expect salespeople to know their organisation, specific pain points and solution requirements before stepping into a sales meeting. Thus the alignment of an organization's sales and marketing divisions has become crucial, more than ever before. With a digital sales enablement platform in place aligning sales and marketing divisions has become much easier. Sales and marketing managers can use real-time data to pinpoint which collateral is providing the highest return, thus sales and marketing efforts can be more focused and direct.
Sales today is evolving more and more in our digitally growing world, and by no means will it stop here. The digital revolution is just the beginning, there is no doubt technology is going to become more and more sophisticated. So we’ve now taken a trip down memory lane, looking at what is known today as ‘traditional selling’ and a close look into the digital revolution of today. So that leaves only one era, the future. No one really knows what the future has in store, but stay tuned for our next blog where we look into some predictions of what the future holds for the sales world.
Corporate Executive Board. (2014, September 3). The Two Qualities Your Content Marketing Needs. Retrieved from https://www.cebglobal.com/blogs/the-two-qualities-your-content-marketing-needs/?business_line=marketing-communications
Forbes Insights. (2015). The Power of Enablement. Bridging the Sales Productivity Gap. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/forbesinsights/brainshark/index.html
Roberge, M,. (2015, August 28). The Sales Forecast: 9 Expert Predictions About the Future of Sales. Retrieved from http://blog.hubspot.com/sales/expert-predictions-about-the-future-of-sales#sm.00000o4slv18duebkqt9nwsm2ahlv