To get ahead, B2B salespeople must become industry and subject-area specialists who serve as trusted consultants and provide worthwhile advice. The industry-wide shift from features-and-benefits reciters to deep-knowledge industry experts is an ongoing change with powerful impact in the sales world. Australian B2B sales guru Graham Hawkins clearly details today’s sales evolution and explains what B2B salespeople must do to compete and succeed.
Techniques and tactics that used to work in B2B sales are no longer effective.
The sales profession is undergoing a process of radical change. Business-to-business salespeople must redefine who they are and what they do. The procedures, protocols and rules that once governed their professional lives have become passé. A new set of rules now applies.
Change is always scary, so many B2B salespeople will cling to old standards and practices well past their sell-by dates. Salespeople operate according to ingrained, even habitual, formulas, approaches and mind-sets. But be aware: being able to recite the features and benefits of your offerings is no longer enough. Today’s buyers want more from B2B salespeople. Clinging to your old ways – to your Kodak film or your taxi medallion, for example – will prove catastrophic.
B2B salespeople now work in “mature markets” that commodify everything, including salespeople. In such markets, competition is brutal and everything devolves to price. Automation complicates things further, as innovations in “artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and robotics” enable technology...
Part-time lecturer and mentor in the RMIT Executive MBA Program, Graham Hawkins has worked in the UK, Australia and across the Asian-Pacific region as a representative of IT, telecommunications, finance and media organizations.