A recent issue of Canadian Business magazine featured an article on the changing face of sales. The article stated that salespeople are finding it more and more difficult to connect with busy decision makers and that these individuals no longer tolerate the standard sales tactics that were once effective.
The article went on to say that salespeople need to develop a higher level of business acumen if they want to succeed. It’s no longer enough just to be an expert in your products or solutions. Nowadays, salespeople must have a better grasp of key business issues affecting your prospect. Plus, they also need to be able to offer insights and ideas on how to solve or manage those issues.
In my own conversations with corporate executives, I have found that they are hungry for insights that might help them gain a stronger foothold in the marketplace. Decision makers expect you to present solutions they haven’t yet considered. They want new ideas that will help them maintain or improve their competitive advantage. Decision makers do more due diligence and research than they used to. This means you need to do your own homework and be prepared to discuss business.
What does that mean? It means that showing up at a prospect’s office and spewing out every feature of your latest product or pitch a solution is no longer effective, because from the prospect’s perspective, many products or solutions look the same.