I just read a very well written article in Profit from Mark Stuyt which spells the end of salespeople who customers have counted on in the past to be sources of product information. I couldn’t agree more. Salespeople can expect to find it increasingly hard to entice customers to engage with them if they don’t provide any value over what a few minutes of web research can do. Salespeople, on the other hand, who have been well trained to take a true consultative approach will find the transition to the new world of selling much easier.
Why? Because they will be able to uncover the problems, issues and needs with a potential buyer and armed with this deep knowledge and their industry experience, give advice on solutions that fit. A great salesperson can also help a customer see problems and opportunities that they might not even realize they have.
I recently read that the average buyer will be 65% of the way through the selling process before engaging a salesperson. If you are not much more than a “talking brochure or website” as a salesperson, there is nothing you can help the customer with and you will be left out of the process. This points to a need for sales professionals to be just that … more professional.
Exceptional training has never been more important!