Graham Hawkins, the CEO of SalesTribe and the author of The Future of the Sales Profession, went in search of perspective from buyers. Their input helped him develop a radical new approach to sales that fits today’s ubiquitous disruption. With information at your buyer’s fingertips through the internet, the “value added” you provide has to be domain expertise and a delightful buying experience. Brad Barker, host of The Wingman Podcast, talks with Hawkins about selling in the 2020s.
Client “pull” sales rather than “vendor push” sales are the future.
Success in sales requires solving problems for customers. Selling hasn’t changed in 130 years, with “quotas, territories and commission” guiding management, along with the attitude that nothing matters except making the sale. Today, clients have instant internet access to information about your product. They can look up vendor recommendations. Buyers’ intensified access to information is roiling sales departments. In this data-dense environment, your old approaches don’t help buyers, and they’re too busy to have time for anything less than real value.
Buyers may already prefer a vendor they discovered through their own research and could be meeting with you only for the sake of getting a comparison. To win the sale, you must be more sophisticated than in the past.
The way senior leaders and sales managers measure, direct and reward salespeople is also an obstacle to change. The old idea that a certain number of calls leads to a certain number of meetings, and then leads to a certain number of sales, is dead. The bottom line: Sell to customers...