The future is upon us, it is now!
Evolution of the critical role of sales in an ever evolving , global market place is a reality that we in sales must willingly embrace and be willing to change for in order to maintain our continued relevance.
I know this is easier said than done; BUT it is not impossible.
This blog is based on my learning from the Solutions Marketing course at the HULT Business School, Boston. Extensive reading and submissions of papers pertaining to the future of marketing set me thinking about the sales person of the future, keeping in step with changing marketing requirements.
The result is this ready reckon er for current sales reps to consider making changes to themselves so that they are battle ready for the foreseeable future!
According to my research….The salesperson of the future will be…
- …introverted rather than extroverted. Traditionally, most of the people drawn to a sales career have been of the “interesting extrovert” variety but, today, the “interested introverts” often do better because they tend to be curious about the customer and more willing to let the customer dominate the conversation, as opposed to the extrovert who is constantly trying to prove how interesting he or she is. Source: sales guru Tom Hopkins.
- …a collaborator rather than a communicator. With the Internet, the customer and the sales rep typically knows a great deal about each other’s firms. As a result, the selling process becomes a matter of filling out the details and coming to a deeper understanding. Rather than providing information, the seller participates in a mutual educational process between the supplier and the consumer of a product or service. Source: Bob Carr, CEO of Heartland Payment Systems.
- …a negotiator rather than a convincer. Traditionally, selling was seen as a way to change the preferences of a potential buyer so that he or she is more likely to buy. Over the past 20 years, however, this has undergone a big shift, so that sales is now seen as a negotiation skill that helps people reach agreement. Source: Max H. Bazerman, Professor, Harvard Business School.
- …an expert rather than a generalist. Because sales jobs are becoming more specialized and professional, it is easier to teach the sales process than it is to teach business knowledge. For example, companies that provide process control systems to refineries now look to hire individuals who have been refinery managers, while companies selling ER management software look to hire ER nurses. Source: Jeff Thull, CEO of Prime Resource Group
- …a professional rather than a tyro. Business schools are taking sales more seriously. Universities are definitely adding sales into the curriculum, even though in the past it was not considered theoretical enough. Sales as a profession has gained status as people, both in business and in academia, realize that sales engagements are much more complex than in the past.
These ideas are definitely turning all known sales axioms on their head because they come from some of the best thought leaders in their fields.
This is certainly serious food for thought and for assimilation at the highest priority!