Where is the future of selling, negotiating and the processes that support it going? We have spent a great deal of time and research answering that question. Selling has evolved from personal relationship skills to salesperson as a consultative or solution seller. Given the changes in the marketplace and the amount of readily available data on your products and services as well as the emergence of an even stronger, more prepared professional buyer, we believe the role of the next generation salesperson focuses on two key skills:
- Assisting customers in making better value-based decisions on which supplier to choose
- Making better value-based decisions on behalf of their company to get compensated for that value
It’s no longer enough to simply understand the customers overall buying process, we need to understand, with a great degree of detail, not only who the people are who are influencing decisions but rather arm the customer with the criteria needed to evaluate one choice vs. another given their needs at this moment. We believe this applies in both B2B and B2C sales.
As to the second set of decisions, companies are increasingly centralizing decisions on pricing, legal terms and conditions, etc. It has been the role of a salesperson to submit requests “upstairs” for approval. Sales teams of the future need better data in their hands to make those decisions real time with the customer. There is a commonly held belief that sales reps, given the opportunity will lower price and give other things away to win the deal. If sales reps are provided with the right data, we can actually become better decision makers and improve the quality of deals before they are submitted “upstairs” for approval or, given certain guidelines avoid that approval process all together. The problem is not that salespeople want to give things away, the problem is they haven’t been given the requisite data to make better decisions at the deal level.
Read more about this in our new white paper, the evolution from sales and negotiation to value-based decision making...