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The World of Sales Demands Change: Part 1

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What You Need to Know

  • The snake oil strategy is gone.
  • Prospects can look up snake oil online.
  • They also have caller ID, and they are picky about which calls they take.

There’s a lot to say about the changes we have gone through this past year and the changes we are being dragged into going forward.

So, in part one of our change journey review let’s talk about what’s happened so far.

A chronological view of the ever-evolving sales process will help us understand why the challenges salespeople must solve is ever changing.

These recent changes in sales are so impactful that the “sales process” has now been replaced by “The Buyer’s Journey.”

In early 20th century traveling salesmen were able to “sell snake oil” to unsophisticated buyers, traveling “pot and pan” salesmen mesmerized (and then sold) buyers who had never seen such cool cooking appliances.

Today, is there anything that a potential buyer has not (or could not) have seen before – even researched on the internet?

Today all sales are competitive. Today’s buyers no longer rely upon receiving your brochure to know what your product does.

Change is Here

Today’s sales reps are no longer the brokers of solution information, with buyers being able to research and become informed about almost any solution out there for almost any problem.

This has eliminated the willingness of buyers to “give me 15 minutes so I can better understand your needs.”

Yes, “discovery calls” still happen. What has changed in these discovery calls are that the buyer is doing the discovery about you.

They happen when an informed buyer wants to discover more than is on your website or in your marketing email, because they were impressed by what they saw.

Qualification calls have been inverted: Instead of your sales team asking questions to determine “if” the prospect has the money, authority or need to buy your product, caller ID means buyers will only take calls from someone who they think may be able to solve a recognized problem.

Instead of “qualifying the prospect,” the buyer will use the first call to “qualify the sales rep” as someone who is competent or not to help them.

In Part 2 we’ll look at tools for our team, engaging and converting prospects (virtually) and hitting our numbers.

Lloyd Lofton (Photo: Lofton)Lloyd Lofton is the founder of Power Behind the Sales and the author of The Saleshero’s Guide To Handling Objections.