I read the other day on Linkedin that “be wary of sales trainers who tell you that the old world of sales don’t work anymore”. While we are not trainers, we coach and we mentor (subtle difference) we are those people that say that sales has changed and for good reason .When I started selling, I wrote letters on paper and handed them to a typing pool. There was no internet, no email, no mobile phones, the only way to get hold of somebody was by telephone or by letter. (The letter had to be typed by somebody else as there wasn’t laptops.) I think we can say that sales has changed from this, the internet, laptops, email etc has been invented and I’m not aware of people who send letters unless you want to look retro.
Sales is always changing, but here are some other pointers to change: 1
. CEB now Gartner came out with some research that states that the buyer is now 57% of the way through the buying process before they reach out to a salesperson. While in the past, to buy something the salesperson was a gatekeeper, you had to talk to them. Now anybody can go online through the web and mobile and research products and services without the need of a salesperson. The buyer probably won’t know what their requirements are, by reading content and watching video they will define the requirements themselves and draw up a short list. All of this without you the seller knowing about it. It’s amazing how the internet, social networks and mobile has changed the world of sales. http://www.curata.com/blog/the-buyers-journey-demystified-by-forrester/ 2
. This figure of 57% has been highly debated over the last few years, internet deniers (people who deny that the internet exists) have argued that this does not happen, the only way to get business is to interrupt people and piss them off by cold calling and cold email. In fact we all go on-line and look for products and services, many of us buy products and services without even talking to a salesperson. This argument was killed off with this latest research from Showpad that actually gives time by value for people researching online. If a company is buying a product or service over $100K it is typical that they will research the products in the shortlist for 40 hours. Of course, if you are not active on social or your content is dull and boring, you are making it very difficult to get onto those short lists. In fact impossible.We are aware of a company that spent $350,000 on a new accounting system, just from reading content and watching videos …… 3 years ago. It’s amazing how the internet, social networks and mobile has changed the world of sales.https://www.showpad.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/the-new-b2b-buyer-experience-report.pdf 3
. Here at Digital Leadership Associates (DLA) we do no outbound marketing. Just imagine, no advertising, no unsolicited emails, no events, we spend no money with marketing agencies, we spend no money with PR firms, we have no logo redesigns, we have no website redesigns. We post one piece of original content everyday and we get three pieces of inbound everyday. It’s amazing how the internet, social networks and mobile has changed the world of sales. 4
. Often we hear people say, that whatever happens what I see the customer has to talk to a salesperson. We agree with that 100%. The problem most sales people have and most sales trainers teach is for all sales people to be the same. Look at LinkedIn 80% of people’s profiles look the same. Assuming your sales trainer believes the internet and social networks exist, I’m joking, but based on the exam question at the start of this blog we do wonder. We know our buyers are searching on social networks looking for help. We know they are looking for experts in which to help them. As I say above we get three pieces of inbound everyday. It’s amazing how the internet, social networks and mobile has changed the world of sales. 5
. The sales model has switched from push to pull. The traditional sales model that I grew up with was you called somebody up and pushed them done the pipeline. Calling them and sending them emails. The problem is that both technology and legislation has stopped this. First, technology can block callers, I block all cold callers using standard iPhone functionality. Unsolicited emails have pretty much dried up with GDPR, and if you send me one, I just create a rule that will send all further emails into my junk folder. The same with pretty much all outbound forms of sales and marketing, for adverts there are adblockers. It’s amazing how the internet, social networks and mobile has changed the world of sales. 6
. People say to us that their clients are not on social, the Hootsuite and We Are Social report created by Simon Kemp paints a different picture, as of October 2018 There are almost 4.2 billion internet users around the world in October 2018, up 7 percent since this time last year. Around 3.4 billion people around the world used social media in September 2018, up 10 percent versus September 2017. More than 5.1 billion people now use a mobile phone, with most using a smartphone.
We would love to be able to show you (through sales navigator) and show you that your customers are on social. It’s amazing how the internet, social networks and mobile has changed the world of sales. https://wearesocial.com/uk/blog/2018/10/the-state-of-the-internet-in-q4-2018 7
. In additional to the “my customers are not on social” objection we often hear is the fact that “decision makers”, a Chief Financial Officer (CFO) probably isn’t the person drawing up the shortlist and doing the research they will have somebody to do this.In my book “Social Selling – Techniques to Influence Buyers” available on Amazon we use research from Google that shows that the people doing the research are between the age of 28 and 35. These people understand both social and have business acumen. They are well versed in doing reach on-line and asking questions of their networks. It’s amazing how the internet, social networks and mobile has changed the world of sales. 8
. And finally there are some pretty ironic things. The conference called “Outbound” was launched on social. Surely a conference like that I should be cold called about it? While I may have my tongue frilly placed in my cheek, it’s amazing how the internet, social networks and mobile has changed the world of sales.Somebody put a comment on the above LinkedIn post and said “everything has not changed”, that is a pretty scary thing to say! I would challenge that, to say nothing has changed in sales the person must be an internet, mobile and social network denier. It’s amazing how the internet, social networks and mobile has changed the world of sales.Related: The Difference Between Social Selling 2015 vs Social Selling 2020