Back in 2015 Forrester wrote a report called: ‘Death of a (B2B) Salesman’ where they predicted that one million US B2B salespeople would lose their jobs by 2020. It was a shocking headline. B2B salespeople were struggling and Forrester has cited changing buyer behaviour as the main driver. They hadn’t even factored in a global pandemic…
COVID has compounded existing challenges and created new ones.
So, what are the three biggest factors impacting salespeople right now and what can you do to support your team?
The average number of sales opportunities for salespeople has decreased by 74% since Corona started (Contemsa) so today’s salespeople need to be better at creating, converting and maximising yield from opportunities. Unfortunately, they’re finding it difficult with 38% saying they are no longer confident in their job (Contemsa).
Buyers have become skeptical about salespeople. According to Forrester, 59% prefer to do research online instead of interacting with a salesperson and 57% admit they’d prefer to purchase from a salesperson who “…doesn’t try to apply pressure or hassle them when following up.” Customers don’t really care about salespeople, their agenda or their goals. Instead, they care about their own problems, and they follow their own preferred buying process. The role of the salesperson has therefore changed, with the emphasis shifting from ‘selling’ to ‘making it easy for the customer to buy’. Today’s best salespeople shift perspective to that of the customer so that they deeply understand how they buy, they then adapt their approach to support the customer through that process. It works. 95% of buyers (DemandGen Report) select a vendor who provided them with enough content to help navigate through each stage.
Remote working has made selling even harder. Selling remotely via Zoom, Teams and Hangouts is now the norm for most salespeople but it comes with its own challenges. The sales experience has always had a greater impact on whether the customer will buy than price, brand or the specifics of the solution. As clients become more used to buying remotely, their expectation of what a great remote sales experience looks like has grown. It’s vital that salespeople optimise their approach to selling via these platforms.
2021 is going to be tough for salespeople and they will need help. What can sales leaders do to support them and help them succeed and drive revenue?
According to BridgeGroup, continuous sales training results in 50% higher net sales per employee; however, with L&D budgets tight and the stakes so high, choosing the right training solution is vital. Training content has to be completely aligned with current buyer behaviour, the delivery has to drive long lasting change and the results need to be real and measurable.
The benchmark for sales excellence has changed and most sales teams are falling short; however, salespeople who are given the right support will succeed and they will drive revenue growth in 2021.
Learn how Flume Sales Training will help your sales teams succeed in 2021.
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