What had changed?
I believe we can all agree that power has shifted from the seller to the buyer in our ever-more-connected world, where the desired information is at hand; literally, we walk around with our smart devices and pads.
Democratization of information and price transparency, intense competition across industries due to globalisation of markets and commoditization
of technology have lead business owners into a new and rather uncharted territory of customer centricity instead of the classical product centric organisations.
We’ve witnessed an ever changing demographic shift in terms of values, autonomy and flexibility especially with the young generation that curtails the upcoming market trends.
Sales “as usual” are obsolete!
We have witnessed numerous excursions from a variety of experts that predicted the death of a salesman
as early as the late 90’s followed by the uprising of the internet. Countless claims have been made that the sales force is a thing of the past and that customers will be acquired online. We see a trend in e-commerce sprouting up, we could also notice a shift in marketing efforts inclined to creating valuable online content and creating an engagement machine. Search engine optimization is on the agenda of the majority of businesses. While we can all agree that this is a good channel for communicating with your prospects and customers.
Where did these predictions go terribly wrong?
Here’s where: People need to talk to people and establish trust. We need to connect the face, the impression and the memory of how that person made us feel with the information that was brought to us. It doesn’t matter whether we’re autonomous or not. All buying decisions are irrational. If buying was a rational decision, ultimately we would have no need for sales.
Just check the statistics of your local labour markets.
I’ve been going through the data lately for US and my local market. Guess what. The most sought after is the sales profession, responsible for direct contact with clients and professionals responsible for managing the latter. If you revise the businesses, you’ll find out just how much hardship and toil they go through in order to acquire, develop and retain top sales performers.
Than again, if you would say that any businesses most valuable assets are its customers, would you really trust them to an automated online process?
Therefore, we can say without a hint of doubt that sales is here to stay, furthermore, it’s going to become harder than ever and a good salesperson will have to take on a role of a tech-savvy part researcher, part marketer and possess a great level of business acumen and an insatiable appetite for curiosity about their customers business.
What are your thoughts on this matter? Feel free to share.