Forrester estimates that 1 million sales roles will be lost due to automation by 2021. So, does this mean the dawn of the digital revolution will signal the death of the sales profession?
True best-in-class sales performance comes from a synthesis of skills and behaviors. Sellers who use both can build valued client relationships and execute buyer-focused sales, increasing their win-rate in the process.
The internet has enabled buyers to be more educated than ever before. A commonly cited statistic is that 57 percent of the buying journey is completed before sales are even engaged.
What makes a truly great and successful sales person is a combination fo both the relationship and process and play in their approach. How sellers approach the sales process and science of selling ( applying their competencies, skills, and experience to execute key activities and verified customer outcomes ) is greatly influenced by their capability to build the art of selling ( their characteristics, behaviors, integrity and, most importantly, their intent).
The customer’s experience of a sales person driven by personal gain will be extremely different to their experience of a sales person driven by fostering mutual gain. The professional focused on mutual gain will reach a better long-term outcome for both by fostering a position of trust.
A sales professional’s core values, intent, and fundamental personal drivers are factors in their approach – but company culture, how sellers are rewarded and recognized and the organizations leadership style also greatly influence the short-term success while creating long-term problems. Success follows when companies encourage sales people to:
– Build trust
– Apply both the art of relationship-building and the science of selling
– Execute the flawless buyer-focused sales process.
– Find mutually beneficial solutions that drive specific business metrics and clearly documented outcomes.
Connecting with the customer
Despite our increasing reliance on the digital world, people still buy using emotion over logic. Even though buyers are savvy, pressured, risk-averse and more demanding, they still want guidance from a trusted doctor. They want expertise to help analyze information and options in order to make the best decisions.
In fact, the unprecedented volume of information buyers now have access to only makes them crave more support in sorting through what matters, and finding value among all the options.
Buyers feel connected to sales professionals who have an understanding about their needs and are able to collaborate with them to find the best solution.