The REAL Future of Sales

By Gretchen Gordon

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Recently, I posted about what sales would be like in 2020, looking at how technologies like artificial intelligence will impact selling in the future. But what will sales be like in 2020 from a human perspective? How will the years ahead impact you and your salespeople?

I am taking this journey at the request of the Vistage research team. They recently wrote an excellent eBook, that I contributed to, entitled Customer Growth: Decisions for the SMB CEO. It looks at the future state of the SMB market.

Humans in Future Sales

So, let’s delve into the human side of the future of sales. Sure, there is much research out there that predicts fewer salespeople in the years to come. Forrester Research, for one, forecasts that 1 million B2B salespeople will lose their jobs by 2020. This may happen.

Many products and services are just a click away. So much information is available to consumers and buyers just by Googling – the buyer doesn’t need to engage with the salesperson nearly as early as they used to. Before the Internet, buyers relied on the information that sellers provided. Now, in many instances, buyers are far more educated before they even consider talking with a salesperson.

The Drag of Marketing Automation

As a matter of fact, many marketing automation services would have you believe that their marketing will do all the work to drag customers to you. It will then be easy and fast to close those leads. All you need is people sitting at computers ready to take orders from whomever raises their hand by visiting your website. They don’t even need to be that good.

Scripts Instead of Skills

Many CEOs think, “Let’s just hire low-paid staff to follow a script, then the customers will buy and the money will follow.” Well, I have some bad news. This approach is going to cost a lot of money and you will waste much time as you figure out it isn’t working. Many of those low-paid individuals aren’t even comfortable talking on the phone, let alone sounding confident, warm and trustworthy. They would rather text or Snapchat. And, how much money are you prepared to spend to gain the attention of the right potential buyer?

So, what should you do?

Well, the good news is that marketing will absolutely create awareness and might even cause a potential customer to consider your service offerings. Though, unless you are the clear leader in your category and can easily articulate that through your marketing, a salesperson likely still needs to be involved. Think about it, there are all types of services that individuals are comfortable buying online. However, the more complex, the more customized, the more expensive the service or product, the less likely a buyer will click the button to submit their order.

Buyers are indeed more educated today and will remain so in the future, by virtue of the fact they have access to more information, compared to the 1980’s, regardless of the complexity of the purchased Go to the full article.

Source:: Business 2 Community

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