Updated: Jun 26, 2022
From Hero to Zero. If you work in sales, you know this bon mot. It is the end of the year; you have achieved your sales targets with a lot of diligence and are celebrated as a hero. But then on the first day of the new year, the clock is set to zero and the game starts all over again.
Unfortunately, not all salespeople are heroes at the end of the year. There are various studies that say that more than 50% of newly hired B2B salespeople do not achieve their targets and 40% of them, quit the job even after 6 months. This has to do with the fact that the wrong people are hired (lack of competence), that employees are not adequately introduced to the job (training) and do not receive proper mentoring, that the targets and goals are not clearly defined, that the collaboration with marketing does not work and no leads are available and so on and so forth.
But: it's not just new employees who are under pressure; long-time sales professionals are also struggling to survive. They work hard, but it is increasingly difficult to build an adequate opportunity pipeline. Their biggest challenge: B2B buyers are moving away from traditional prospecting, and relationships built over years are disappearing to make way for Millenials who tick differently and have taken the lead in decision making. They don't need face-to-face meetings but rely on independent research and transparent product comparisons on the Internet.
So, we must talk straight: if you're a salesperson just providing information and helping someone with a transaction, you have a problem. The new buyers want to solve their buying problems with a transparent shopping platform and an optimized algorithm, and they don't need a salesperson and constant pressure.
The first thing you have to get is that the B2B buyer is setting “the rules of the game”.
Any human job that can be automated or digitally assisted will be replaced in the long run, say many augurs, and I say the same goes for sales. During my research for my new book, I've been made aware of a completely new sales tech stack that does an excellent job of supporting or complementing human sales work by increasing an individual's efficiency or allowing them to focus on higher value tasks.
There are now countless new sales technologies and tools that complement core CRM systems and established marketing solutions. But that's not all: various new software tools or platforms, such as those for sales and revenue enablement, have a direct impact on sales and boost them, without any ifs or buts. These new solutions are rapidly gaining importance, especially in a worse or more competitive macroeconomic environment, and will become game-changing for companies.
I think you get a much clearer picture of ROI in sales very quickly thanks to these new sales solutions. First, they drive unified alignment across sales, marketing, and customer success teams and then, after all, the analytics behind it will unmistakably show what is working and what is not. Visibility within organizations will be much higher and it won't just be a single salesperson or marketer that will be held accountable, but a CRO, maybe even a CEO, and sales and revenue enablement will really be seen as critical and indispensable to achieving the strategic goals related to sales.
The new normal in B2B sales: Automation, AI, Analytics and Digital First
So, it's a matter of immediately closing the gap to the new B2B buyer journey and establishing new workflows and sales tooling where necessary, as well as automating as much as possible. The good news is all tools that come into question can be purchased in a SaaS model and are basically easy to install and can usually be used by a non-technical user after a short training session.
By the way: I have already introduced one possible provider. It is Salesloft and their sales enablement platform, which helps revenue teams to do all their outbound sales activities and to engage with prospects and customers. Here is the link to the article.
Customer Acquisition Model Readiness Check
Over the past few months, my team and I have been building a framework to evaluate the level of optimization of your company's customer acquisition model. In doing so, we analyze what makes your salespeople successful or where, for example, friction points prevent good results. We look at the buyer journey, evaluate the current sales model and map the critical processes associated with it. In addition, we also look at your message-market-fit or messaging as well as your sales tech stack. In addition, we develop a first proposal and show how your optimal, modern sales development could look like.
If you are interested in an assessment or readiness check, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Thank you for reading and best regards, Roland
PS. Here you can find a recent study by Gartner which shows that only 6% of sales leaders are confident they can deliver against revenue goals, and most say changing buyer preferences are directly impacting sales. Obviously, it is time to act!