I read the words of Jeff Molander “The truth is, there has been no revolution in how buyers buy. Everything has not changed. The problem for most sellers is believing they must re-learn—re-invent how they sell. But there is no revolution. Instead, adapting effective sales and direct response marketing techniques to an “always on” digital world.”
I agree we are in an ‘always on’ digital world, however, with mental health linked to these social challenges. We are now negotiating ways of managing these demands personally and professionally.
I disagree that the global economic, technological and social environment has not changed. In the last ten years of cloud, technology transfer, technology collaboration across cultures, software as a service (SAAS) and millennial buyers. So much has and still is changing for both buyers and sellers.
The world is changing. You cannot afford to sit and wait for the changes to impact you and your business. You must seek to understand the challenges facing you, your organisation and your customer.
Let me give you a few examples of why I disagree with Jeff and others, on how much everything is changing:
In the automotive industry, the popular topic is driverless cars. Chancellor Philip Hammond stated the government’s aim to have “fully driverless cars”, without a safety attendant on board in use by 2021. The government paper: boost for the electric and driverless car industry as the government drives forward green transport revolution, sets out the objectives. These ambitions have galvanised the car and technology industry. Top-tier suppliers must adopt new business models and collaborate to advance driver assistance systems that integrate with legacy automotive systems and processes.
Similarly, in 1957, President John F. Kennedy committed the US to the ambitious goal of landing a man on the moon by the end of the decade. Kennedy’s space race with the Soviets, changed everything and everyone raises their game.
An Autonomous Car Roadmap for Suppliers report the changes and challenges: “To become a leader in assistive and autonomous technology, each will need to develop new capabilities, especially in certain aspects of software engineering, such as raw data fusion and machine learning. They will also need to facilitate mergers and acquisitions (M&A) as well as strategic partnerships and alliances to ensure access to important technologies and skills. Above all, they will have to change the way they operate, becoming more agile and maintaining a ﬂexible approach to strategy while strengthening their own technological culture.”
I read Bain and Company Insight reports and although I do not necessarily work in the industries discussed. I share these insights with other industries when questioning their thinking about what is possible. If you want to add value to your customer, you must offer real insight.
Another example of how changes in technology spending are changing decision-makers and the way sales professionals approach buyers.
Bain report in The Changing Face of Technology Buyers “Purchasing decisions on this investment increasingly come from outside of IT, from general managers, business development executives, chief technology officers or the heads of functions, such as marketing, finance and human resources. Technology providers see this happening, but many are slow to respond. If they do not find ways to adapt, they risk slowing their own growth. Reaching these buyers will require a new go-to-market model, including updated offerings, pricing, salesforce and channel management, delivery, and post-sales support.”
The reason for these changes is that investment in technology is now a whole company decision that has the potential to bring real competitive advantage. With large global third-party providers, instead of the perpetual licenses model. New business models such as pay for performance or as a service. Enable customers to gain innovative technology without large one-time investment, more pay as you go flexible schemes.
Why is this important?
I do not think you can pretend these things are not challenging and changing fast. No amount of direct response marketing technique will impact the expectations your buyers have of you and other suppliers. The expectation to keep the customer relevant and growing to meet their customer needs:
Sales professional are no longer required to sell and only sell, they are required to:
- Understand the macro and micro global economic, technological and social-political drivers.
- Know and develop a warm relationship with influencers within the customer organisation.
- Understand what different value adding information each influencer or buyer requires. To help them navigate their world of choices.
- Nurture and listen for online and offline signals that your decision-maker is ready to decide.
- Present options, to include your competitor product, to help your buyer make the very best decision for their organisation.
What do you think – Are you ready for the challenge and change? If not, contact me and let’s talk about Scale Your Sales.