Many people debate the precise quote “survival is more likely a question of a species ability to adapt than anything else” from Darwin. However for this article, we will consider B2B sales people as a species consisting of various subspecies. Even though periods, trends and circumstances may favour of a subset of salesperson over others, to move the pendulum towards themselves B2B salesperson need to build on skills and experience and the ability of adapt to the changing dynamics. These dynamic salespeople have always been called Hunters.
Many have pointed out before, if three sales people are proposing on an opportunity, one will win, the other two will have hungry babies, I love my babies, I like to feed them, I guess some don’t. When we talk about hunters, we are talking about hunting for revenue and competing with other salespeople not against the client. The ability to step out of their comfort zone and deliver for clients shows how much they are willing to grow.
According to a recent presentation by a principal analyst from Forrester, the B2B subspecies of sales population count is currently about 4.5 million. Over the next five years, one-fourth of them will no longer exist and the numbers will continue to dwindle from there cutting the tribe to even smaller numbers.
This is primarily due to the fact that many of the efficiencies achieved in B2C, the Amazonization of buying, will be making their way to B2B. No surprise, no shock, order takers have always been part of the scene, and as machines become more efficient at not only taking orders, but increasing individual orders by leveraging the same technologies and thought processes as we now take for granted on Amazon or eBay.
Add to that technology’s role in helping attract “self declared” buyers, the need for this skill-less chore to be performed by humans will disappear, freeing up margins for other revenue and margin generating assets, specifically hunters. I recently saw an interview with an executive from a “lead gen” firm, and he described their success in “generating inbound hand raisers”. Well if they are raising their hands on their own, or in response to advertising, then capturing that demand will default to technology, not only because of the cost saving, but the consistency of performance, and efficiencies gain.
That environment favours hunters over all other type of sellers. The premium worth paying for is the ability to identify “none hand raisers”, engage them, and bring them into to the market, something which on their own they would not have done. Approaching an individual who is firmly entrenched in the Status Quo, and bringing them into a conversation that ends in them being in a buy/sales process is the skill of the future.
It's not about social selling vs. traditional selling. It is about the aptitude to comprehend the objectives of business people and engage with them. The ability you have to help clients understand their objectives and how you can help them achieve it through means they have not explored before. You can explain to them through examples and your experiences that you can achieve goals through several different means. The premium you command over a scanner or application in today's world is the expertise and experience you bring to the table for clients; Darwin would be pleased.
Written by Tibor Shanto
Originally posted on sellbetter.ca
About the Author:
Tibor Shanto is Prospecting & Sales Execution Specialist specializing in B2B companies that deliver professional development for professional sales people. He aims to help sales professionals better execute their sales process, with a focus on new client and revenue acquisition. He has worked with hundreds of companies and thousands of reps, helping them understand that success in sales is all about Execution – Everything Else Is Just talk.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are strictly those of the author. CPSA does not endorse any of the companies, products and services mentioned within this article.