The funny thing about change is that sometimes you don’t notice it until it has happened.
For me this is how I feel about selling and the way the role has changed over the last 10 years or so. It is not better or worse – just different.
So, what’s changed? And what are the implications for salespeople themselves. In particular what kind of skills do they need to develop?
No surprise – technology and in particular the internet has facilitated the changes. Information is more readily accessible to buyers. These buyers are now very knowledgeable about the different services and products available on the market. They have access to price comparison websites as well as review sites. Well informed decisions can be made without speaking to a salesperson. Indeed, when they do make an enquiry, they are probably half way through the buying cycle.
Another key area is the level of marketing noise out there. Our inboxes, businesses and social platforms are being assailed with new offerings and reminders about products and services. Again, technology has given sales and marketing the opportunity to reach out to thousands of potential and existing customers. This creates an awful lot of noise as well as providing customers with access to a lot of information.
So, what do these better informed potential customers expect from salespeople today?
They are looking for salespeople who understand their challenges and opportunities. They also want to be communicated with in a way which works for them and to have your proposition clearly aligned to their situation.
Therefore today and tomorrow’s salesperson need to be more flexible. They are looking for a personalised and consultative approach, where the salesperson is able to show how their product or service could directly solve their individual problems.
This means that the salespeople need to be more “agile”, build stronger relationships as well know more – about the customer, their sector as well as the pertinent competition.
What should salespeople do?
The irony is that they can use the same technology which has facilitated this change to help solve their own challenges. Here are some examples:
So how could you help your salespeople develop these skills? How do you make your sales teams and their managers more curious about their sector, customers and competition as well as honing their agile skills?
Many of our clients have used On.Board to create a variety of sales orientated mobile learning and communication programs:
Want to find out more? In our next webinar we will be looking at a few examples of where mobile learning can help salespeople to develop this “sales agility”. Sign up here:
Webinar: “The 3 essential skills salespeople need to master today’s connected world”
What are your experiences of developing an “agile” sales force? We would love to hear your stories -let us know in the comments box below.
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