Customer buying habits have advanced from procuring sophisticated data systems, being charged an annual subscription, and allocating scarce resources to train their teams to run reports. They want suppliers to solve their data procurement problems, such as helping them maintain their output when faced with information overload, budgetary cuts and a lack of resources.
The sales landscape is rapidly changing. The tech savvy, socially empowered buyers control the sales process. We are told to hustle, care, add value and a string of other buzz words that dominate the social airwaves. "Vendor confusion" and "lack of available resources" are driving the consolidation of vendors in the B2B landscape. Fundamentals such as the "relationship" sale, the "hunter" salesperson, "cold-calling" customers and "closing" deals are supposedly obsolete.
When a great job opportunity presents itself, it is easy to let emotions cloud your better judgement and gloss over the terms of your future employment. The primary focus is on joining the business and, as salespeople are driven by compensation, there is a common assumption that, as long as the numbers stack up, then the rest will be fine. In many cases this doesn’t result in a negative consequence, but sometimes an innocent oversight can have grave consequences both during employment and post termination.
Generally, "cold callers" have 10 seconds of my time to make their case. For "warm" calls, with some form of connection, this stretches it to 20 seconds. There are four reasons I always grant this opportunity:
• It takes balls to call someone and try to sell them something.
• I am interested in how much effort they have put into their pitch.
• Sales is about talking to people, not email blasting them.
• They might have something to offer that could genuinely help me.
Picking the right product to sell is a crucial component of sales success. All products must have the necessary foundations to build-upon: a great customer service team that shares a common goal for excellence, an adequate budget to finance growth, and a management team with the experience and vision to ensure opportunities are utilised. Understanding whether these mechanisms are in place before joining a company requires extensive research on many levels.
'My online social channels have been exhausted for sales leads'.
'I am under pressure to contact a potential customer, but I can't contrive a digital reason to do so'.
'My social-selling strategy isn't adding to my pipeline how the experts suggest it should...what should I do?'
I didn't take up fly-fishing until I was 30 years old. The motivation to do so was to de-stress from the gruelling hours working in sales. It seemed to be the only thing that would distract from my blackberry and thoughts of winning more business. Four years later, as well as being the top sales performer for my company, I had just qualified for the national fly-fishing squad. It all seems a bit random, but actually the attributes to succeed in each are remarkably similar. All I did was apply the same mindset for selling, to fly-fishing. These are the three reasons why: