I read an article this morning with this title “Do sales people need to be thought leaders? I say that the sales representative of today needs to be a leader and so much more. This rebuttal addresses what happens when you do not encourage your sales rep to do the work to establish herself as a leader within the industry and line of business she serves.
Today’s sales landscape is very different than it was in the last century. In the 1900’s prospecting, following up, closing deals, objection handling and closing again was what was done because it worked. Back then salespeople had the upper hand, they had most of the information. During much of the last century salespeople were indispensable (I’m referring to those well trained salespeople from notable companies like Xerox and IBM).
Today’s buyer is the most empowered buyer ever, because now they have easy access to information due largely to the ubiquitous nature of social and mobile media. This HBR article excerpt says: “your customers including the ones you haven’t met—already know all about your offerings. On average, prospective buyers in business-to-business settings have completed 57 percent of their due diligence work before they engage a sales representative.” Where does this leave salespeople?
Well without having something thought provoking, insightful or compelling to share with the customer team doing the due diligence it’s difficult to insert yourself into the buying cycle. Here’s what the average sales representative is relegated to when the sales manager says (1) Keep prospecting and the DM says, We have already selected our best 3 solution providers, (2) Keep following up with the DM! DM says stop with the spam, it’s not wanted, (3) Keep closing, refer to items #1 and #2, their nothing to close.
When you do not encourage today’s sales representatives to do the hard work to establish their LEADERSHIP within the industry they serve you set them up to be consistently left out meetings with the economic buyer #LeadersOpenDoors.
Please join the conversation and share what you believe.