Sales: The Ultimate Advantage

Sales: The Ultimate Advantage

How to Win in Today’s Hypercompetitive Selling Environment

The business world has never been more chaotic than it is right now. The economy is sending mixed messages, and globalization is imposing competitive pressures that are without precedent.

What a great time to be in sales!

That’s right. What is seen as bad news by many presents nothing less than a tremendous opportunity for anyone who is prepared to meet the challenge.

To really take advantage of this opportunity, the first rule to remember is that what you focus on will become your reality. If you are looking for problems, you will most assuredly find them. But if you focus on opportunities, a new paradigm called Sales 10.0 can pave the way for you to achieve outstanding success when others are still treading water.

THE SALES WORLD HAS TURNED UPSIDE DOWN

What has happened to shake things up? Three powerful forces have converged in a way that has profoundly changed the dynamics of selling:

1. Meeting customers face-to-face is no longer considered essential. Once the cornerstone of the sales profession and the primary way to build relationships, the requirement for personal contact is slowing fading away for anything less than high-stakes meetings.

2. Technology has rewritten the rules. The frantic pace of technology in every corporate function has dramatically changed how sales professionals find, create, and track relationships with their customers. And technology waits for no one.

3. What buyers expect of sales professionals is higher than ever before. Nearly all the information needed to make an informed purchase is now at the buyer’s fingertips.

Any one of these above changes would make a significant impact on how sales organizations execute. The fact is, these dramatic shifts are occurring simultaneously, thus creating an ultimate game changer for everyone involved.

Welcome to the Sales 10.0 Revolution!
In response to this seismic shift, the market has shaped a new, far-reaching paradigm for sellers. This dynamic customer- based revolution makes it possible to open doors, make connections, build relationships, communicate value, and close the deal faster and more profitably than any time in the history of sales.

IN THE BEGINNING, THERE WAS WEB 1.0

Sales 10.0 would not exist but for the astonishing technological and networking evolution which has taken place through the Internet. In the early days — now referred to as the Web 1.0 era — the Internet was static and two-dimensional. Companies used the Internet primarily to send email, while prospective buyers went online to view Web pages that were essentially just digital brochures. Then, seemingly overnight, the online experience turned social and started revolving around personal, real-time, extremely relevant interactions.

In this new environment, transactional power quickly shifted from the seller to the buyer, and buyers began to expect a much higher level of personalized engagement from those they were buying from. Static Web pages and other traditional expressions of the sales function quickly became irrelevant. Web 1.0 was dead.

ALONG CAME WEB 2.0

Web 2.0 was an inevitable outgrowth of Web 1.0, reflecting both technological change and the increasing reliance on the Internet and social networking. Sales 2.0 is really a renaming of Web 2.0 and, like Web 2.0, represents shifting business processes and communications to the Internet. Sales 2.0 represent a commendable departure from the older model of solutions-based sales, but with its sales-as-science credo, it is on its last legs. Here’s why:

It turns out that the strengths of Sales 2.0 are its liabilities. Sales 2.0 has been oversystematized and shackled by its inherent rigidities. The tenacious conviction of its adherents that this approach to sales yields measurable, predictable outcomes is laudable, but limiting. Missing is what now justifies the giant leap from Sales 2.0 to Sales 10.0. Missing is what makes the best sales people great, the best managers visionary, the best corporations the most durable is the human element— the intuitive, emotional, personal element of the transactional process.

THE CUSTOMER IS STILL ALWAYS RIGHT

Sales 10.0 has created a whole new environment where every step of the selling process moves faster, more efficiently, and more profitably than ever before. This is tremendous news for sales organizations, many of whom are still trying to find their way in this new, post-Web 1.0 world.

Consider these alarming facts:

>> CSO Insights reports that even in the most successful sales organizations, only 63% of sales reps attain or exceed quota.

>> A survey conducted by InsideSales. com revealed that 75 percent of sales representatives stop at the second “no.”

Clearly, many companies remain stuck in the past. Clearly, the old sales models aren’t working any more.

Today’s sophisticated customers possess a sense of transparency, power, and entitlement. They are no longer looking for products; they are looking for partners — allies who will help them find and customize the best solution to meet their needs.

Sales 10.0 represents a new and necessary way of approaching today’s savvy buyer. Sales 10.0 makes use of interactive websites, social media, specialized apps, and other Cloud-based tools to drive and track activities for building customer relationships, providing real-time rep training, clarifying customer needs and preferences, and analyzing customer activity data. All these powerful, practical, and integrated tools create exceptional value for customers.

In a Sales 10.0 environment, for the first time, sales organizations have all the tools and strategies assembled and accessible in one place to unify and coordinate the efforts of the entire organization.

Thanks to Sales 10.0, sales reps, marketing teams, all customer-based staff — all using a single customer interface — are now able to deliver maximum power, productivity, and profitability to the sales process. Now that’s real teamwork!

Here, then, is the real source and power of Sales 10.0. Unless you are in a pure e-commerce environment, technology alone is not going to close your customers. Highly effective human interactions are the ultimate differentiator. Sales 10.0 provides sellers with an exciting new environment that restores the dynamic of the human element to the sales function. Sales 10.0 gives the game back to the sales reps and their customers.

By Jim Baker, chairman of BCI.

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