It was something I’d long suspected. And, as I researched for my upcoming book, The Modern Seller, it became crystal clear. We’re living in a new sales economy, and it’s changing everything about the way our prospects and clients are buying from us.
The new sales economy is the intersection of business dynamics, technology and cultural change – these elements are coming together to influence our clients’ buying behaviors. It’s fluid and continually changing – so what was relevant five years ago, may no longer be relevant today. And what is relevant today will likely not be relevant five years from now.
What all of this means is that our clients and prospects are behaving and buying differently. Sales professionals and sales leaders need new mindsets, skillsets and toolsets to be successful. And our sales training programs need to evolve to help sellers meet these demands.
The Chaos Creators
In my research, I discovered a series of seven trends creating chaos in the new sales economy that we need to stay in front of as modern sellers. In this post, I’ll share two of the trends.
- The ROI Speedway.
Gone are the days where we could take 6-12 months to show ROI for our products and services. Now, our clients and prospects live quarter to quarter. Their expectations of results and how quickly we deliver them has changed.
I was recently having a sales conversation with a decision maker in the financial services industry. We were discussing sales training programs for her sales team. The options and the business value I presented were spot on, but what she needed to know was the specific results she could expect in the short term. Before she would commit, she needed to be able to explain to her CEO the tangible ROI the programs would deliver in the first 90 days.
When you’re selling, be prepared to make the business case for the expected ROI of your offerings over the course of 90 days and then 180 days.
- The Amazon Effect
Have you had something delivered to you from Amazon in last two weeks? The last month? I bet you just nodded your head.
Chances are that you use Amazon because you like the convenience of that package showing up on your front porch. It’s easy. It’s fast. Plus, Amazon provides social proof and lots of available choices. (This effect is quickly spawning other sites just like it – my dog’s food is delivered every six weeks now from Chewy.)
The fact is, B2B sales is taking on many of the characteristics that were once only found in B2C sales. The same behavior we engage in as consumers, we’re seeing from our clients and prospects in the B2B sales environment.
In B2B sales, buyers now want to conduct their own research. They want to see social proof of your offering’s benefits. And even in the most complex sales cycles, they want it to be easy to buy, easy to implement, and easy to return. What is your buyer’s experience before, during, and after your sales process? If you haven’t already emulated Amazon-like business practices, now is the time to get started.
Peter Drucker said, “The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not the turbulence—it is to act with yesterday’s logic.”
With all the chaos and disrupters in the new sales economy, a modern seller must look for new ways to develop new business and create lifetime customers. Does your sales training program address the trends?
Watch for the other trends in future posts.
My book, The Modern Seller, will be available in 2018. You can download a free chapter now.
Want to know more about becoming a modern seller? Watch this short video.