Insight over information
A great deal of the salesperson’s role at one time was to deliver information. Most salespeople today face the possibility that a prospect may actually know as much or more about the product, service or solution being offered as the salesperson doing the offering.
Today’s salesperson must provide context and meaning, must aggregate and filter and must become a resource of insight for today’s information overloaded buyer.
Proof over promise
Price is a direct reflection of the buyer’s perceived value. This doesn’t always mean it’s a reflection of the true value or even rational reflection of value, but the ROI question will never go away unless, and until, an organization can show proof of value rather than promised value peppered throughout marketing materials.
Today’s salesperson must commit to working deeply with clients to help measure and communicate true value received as a completion of the sales process. With that piece in place, today’s salesperson can offer proof as part of the trust-building, lead-conversion process.
Publish over prospect
Marketing departments around the world are scrambling to feed the market’s expectation that they can instantly find content on any subject or need imaginable. Search engine usage has made consistent content production mandatory.
Few salespeople see writing content as a good use of their time, but it’s a skill that today’s successful salesperson has embraced. Not every organization will allow their salespeople to blog, but the ones that do have the opportunity to create a stream of content that is potentially informed with real-life customer stories and experiences. Smart salespeople have also begun to curate content as a way to become a resource for their clients as well.
Farm over hunt
This last change probably runs counter to traditional selling as any of the others outlined above because it sounds so passive. Salespeople have been taught to hit the street, knock on doors and close deals.
The problem is the street is closed, the doors are made of bits and no one answers the phone anymore.
Working the soil, planting seeds and watering the harvest with care is the new metaphor for turning “know,” “like” and “trust” into “try,” “buy,” “repeat” and “refer.”