The principles behind personal selling and leading sales teams today has changed dramatically is recent years. Most of the “sales wisdom” used today is derived from the last century. Customer have completely changed. Our practice of personal selling and how we lead sales teams need a serious upgrade.
The Griffith University Business School teamed up with the Small Business Association of Australia to deliver a series of workshops/presentations to support the Entrepreneurship at the Business School.
They needed a evening on “sales”. I put together a session based on how customers have changed recently, the eight core problems with sales today, how to flip these problems with the Architecture for Customer Engagement, then how to lead sales teams using Wheel.
We held this event on the Gold Coast mid-August and it was a great evening, attended by more than 50 keen people to hear about.
“Personal Selling and Leading Sales Teams: the world has changed, have sales teams kept up..?”
A rhetorical question there at the end as most sales teams have not kept up with the way customers have changed.
The top five ways that customer have changed
Here are my top five ways in which customer behaviour has changed recently, and because they are behavioural, they are intertwined.
- Customers are very ‘sales resistant’ these days. Anything that looks like, sounds like, or smells like a sales pitch, resistance levels increase.
- And this corresponds with what are lot of people are calling a ‘self-service revolution’. Customers want to do it themselves.
- Customers are more informed than ever in history. Not only about products and services, but also informed about other customer reviews and alternatives available to them.
- Rising expectations. Because some businesses have really nailed the customer experience, our expectations as customers have risen to the point where the experience a lot of organisations provide is not good enough. We expect things to be quicker, smoother and no hassle.
- We have entered into an experience economy. Customers are now making their purchasing and advocacy decisions far more on their overall experience. Likewise business customers are looking more for an ongoing relationships, rather than a transactions.
Our businesses need to adapt, so that we can continue to deliver value for our customers in this age.
Make sure you also have a look at this post – the New Manifesto for Sales.
GU recorded the presentation part one is at the top of this post, and part two here. The audio is really clear.