What is the Future of Sales?

Sales has been forever evolving, there was a time (before the internet and the telephone) where sales was about knocking on doors and people still sell that way.

In the last 25 years of sales I’ve seen a number of changes. When I first moved into sales the PC (Personal Computer) hadn’t been invented, we had a typing pool where each person there had a word processor. The view was they would never catch on and the typing pool would soon go back to the typewriters. The typewriters were kept in a cupboard for that glorious day.

The trying pool was fired and us salespeople were given a laptop. Just think salespeople having to do their own typing, more admin. But us Sales people had our eyes on these things called mobile phones. Well they were more like bricks, but they looked cool.

And so life progresses not through disruption, but naturally through progression.

There was time where we all cold called, let’s not forget that email and it’s use isn’t that old. I remember, trying to get through to my management the importance to get a personal email account. And not for their PA to print the emails off and for the management to write on the print out and the PA to send them back. I know of a senior exec who still does that.

Here we are in 2018 and the whole team here at DLA always get asked what is the future of sales?

Well let’s have a status report. The internet has totally changed the way people buy. In the past, the only way people got information about your products and services was to interrupt them and tell them about it. You did this with advertising, cold calling or cold emails. As a buyer you put up with the interruptions because it was the only way to find out about stuff.

Now we have the internet and through mobile at our fingertips. If I as a buyer want to know about products and services, 10 years I would have called up and hopefully got a brochure in the post 3 days later. Now I just go onto the internet and look it up.

Related: Social Selling is the New Disruptor

Our attitudes are also changing. Where as, 10 or even 5 years ago we would have put up with people selling to us as it was the only way to get information, now it annoys us. I was approached yesterday by a facebook Friend on Messenger about her “new service”. She went straight for the pitch, which pissed me off and lost her a sale.

What we are seeing in sales and marketing are the lines blurring. Account Based Marketing (ABM), Content creation, use of experts in the sales process are blurring the edges. If we look at the standard sales funnel, we see in the world of social selling, sales people taking responsibility for their own demand generation and using content to get inbound. As buyers, we are not interested in corporate marketing, cold calling, unsolicited emails, websites all of the things that were traditionally in the marketing department. So what happens to Marketing in this internet enable world. The attention economy, where we need to fight for people’s attention not by pitching to them, but building empathy, relationships and being the expert that people can trust.

Adam Gray, Hugo Whicher and I have written the book “ Smarketing: How to Achieve Competitive Advantage through Blended Sales and Marketing ” available on pre-order from Amazon.

This book is very much of the now and the future. First and foremost it is not the ramblings about a journey or a telling off why you should be doing this. We actually tell you how to do. We provide you with the blue print on how you can have Smarkerting in your business. As a workbook, it walks you through, how to take this idea and sell it to management, the team you need around you, the pressures you will face and what can go wrong. The key thing, is we take you through the process step by step.

To put it in “management consultancy speak” this is the future operating model for sales and marketing.