The sky has fallen: who doesn’t acknowledge that selling has changed? Customers who know their problems now search the web to source and vett suppliers and solutions. All this before talking with sales reps.
Outside sales reps are not yet obsolete but their worth is tied to a new value equation. One where they must uncover unrecognized customer needs and wants. And then help customers negotiate their own purchasing process.
Yup, that’s right. Sales reps must now help lead customers through their own buying process.
The new sales equation means reps must know as much about how their customers buy than what they are selling.
Actually, sales reps’ worth is more weighted to helping customers buy, than pure product or service knowledge.
Today customers can do almost everything that reps formerly did, such as identify problems and find solutions.
To help sales reps get behind this sea change it’s necessary to change perspectives: from selling to buying.
Here are a few sales terms that need to be flipped in the minds of sales reps. Customers don’t have to. They’ve always thought this way.
- Suspects, prospects, customers –> are really –> Buyers
- Selling –> only exists to –> Help buyers buy
- Sales reps –> really are –> Buyers’ sherpas
- Consultative selling –> means to –> Help buyers make better buys
- Cold calling –> is a way to –> Find buyers who buy
- Marketing –> only –> Educates, motivates & attracts buyers ready to buy
- Sales information –> should give –> Buyers’ insights into their buying
- Sales closure –> really is only a –> Buyer’s commitment to change
- No –> only means –> Not now
It’s time sales reps got on board with the democratization of information the Internet has brought. Certainly there are other windows into the new reality. What other terms do you see that should be flipped?