Farewell to the B2B salesperson?
Gone are the days of the salesman wandering the streets, briefcase in hand! 💼
The digital transformation of business processes is already well underway – fact! Various studies suggest that sales prospects and customers tend to favour more self-service options, and don't necessarily need or want to be handheld through every stage of their decision making. 🤷
So should we be pushing the envelope that bit further, as we bid farewell to the B2B salesman as we knew him? 😱
In the US at any rate, one study conducted by Forrester predicted the ousting of field salesmen in the US by 2020. And so far, we see nothing to refute that. The current health crisis has undoubtedly had a real impact, greatly accelerating the move towards digitisation for all companies.
But to claim this was a pre-existing trend across all departments (marketing, procurement, HR, sales, etc.) would be something of an oversight.
Another study conducted in 2019 by Smart Selling Tools does confirm this trend, finding that more and more sales teams are using digital tools such as LinkedIn, Hubspot, ProspectIn, or even Salesforce to automate and manage their sales prospecting and new customer acquisitions.
So it is time to bid farewell the B2B salesman? Absolutely not! We do need to recognise, however, that digitisation is now gaining ground, bringing with it a fair amount of change, which is something to be embraced.
Why digitise your business processes?
Well, for two reasons. Digitisation:
- drives sales: :
The idea is to alleviate the burden of all those admin and low value-added tasks within the sales department. By removing these sticking points, your sales teams will be free to dedicate more time and attention to customers and their needs, which will ultimately generate more revenue for your business.
- personifies the customer experience:
Customer experience is the name of the game for any salesperson. Gaining customer insight is what good digitisation is all about. Why? Because today’s customer has already gleaned your company website – and likely the wider web – for all the information they can find. The Forrester study does indeed demonstrate that the majority of customers (53%) prefer to "do their own research”. Nowadays, a salesperson doesn't add value merely by selling and presenting a product, but by finding a key differentiator that ticks all the boxes for the customer. In other words, by identifying the customer's pain point and showing how the solution can solve their particular issue.
The day-to-day of a salesperson obviously boils down to more than just two steps. There are many other steps involved, such as identifying leads, qualifying leads, sales prospecting.
And digitisation can be of real benefit here as well:
- ⏳ imagine slashing those countless hours spent qualifying leads.
- 👍 Imagine a veritable mine of information tracking a prospective customer's journey through your website: what content they downloaded, which pages they visited, which assets they viewed, all to gain a better insight into their needs – in other words, targeting their key requirements in order to convert a lead into a sale.
And lastly, today's salesperson needs to show speed and agility. Digitisation provides certain tools, including digital signature in particular, that are valuable assets for any sales team.
An accelerated sales cycle, improved customer experience and more accurate targeting of customer needs are among the key benefits that your sales team will enjoy.
Let's be in no doubt, the briefcase is still firmly in hand, but those plastic portfolios have since made way for a digital device.