“Death of a B2B Salesperson,” A recent report by Forrester Research, found that by a factor of 3 to 1, B2B buyers want to self-educate themselves by going to sellers’ websites to learn about offerings. The majority of buyers prefer to make purchases online. Despite this shift, many sellers continue to force customers to deal with a sales representative to learn about prices and complete the transaction,
Contrary to what these findings, the live B2B salesperson is not destined to become a dinosaur. Rather, his or her role needs to be redefined.
Here’s how B2B sellers should do that.
Map the customer journey. Firms need to map the customer journey, or buying process, taking into account customers’ use of the emerging digital media to search, learn and educate themselves on fulfilling their requirements.
Redesign your sales funnel companies need to rethink its sales funnel. Traditionally, salespeople focused a significant portion of their attention on the beginning of the funnel: finding sales leads and converting them into prospects. Today, they may have to redirect their efforts to points further along the process: closing hot prospects, providing follow-up service, and cultivating long-term relationships.
Reimagine, retrain, and redeploy your sales people. For 50 years, pundits have repeatedly proclaimed that salespeople would soon be rendered obsolete by the emerging media or technologies of the day. Each time, salespeople survived. How? They evolved.
Today’s B2B salesperson should be an educator, negotiator, consultant, solution configurator, service provider and relationship manager. They are integral to discovering the something more that customers want. As customers will tell you, “A salesperson must add value by becoming part of the product or solution.”
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Source: Harvard Business Review