The Dawn of The New Age Salesman

by December 12, 2018 0 comments

Attributed To: Snehashish Bhattacharjee, Global CEO, Denave

Digital evolution is bringing in new ways of life. This change transcends into newer work roles too while revamping the old roles to fit into new realities of today’s age. We have social media activist, an online influencer amongst us, the roles that were unheard of till recent past. Same goes to the traditional role of a salesman. While sale continues to be the backbone of every business, the role itself has undergone tremendous change, in terms of its outlook and the ways it is conducted.

Traditional Sales – An Uphill Battle

A new study by Sales for Life informed that at an average sales development rep uses six tools to help make sales. Before the dawn of the digital age, the salesman had an uphill battle when it came to closing sales, saddled with unreliable data and ineffective selling techniques

Limited lead generation capabilities – Instead of adopting a targeted approach, most salesmen waited for the customer to come to them rather than approach them with a proposition. A lack of proper communication channel meant that there was no way for the salesman to know whether a customer was interested in what the salesman had to offer unless they walked into their place of business with an inquiry.

Poor quality data – This was one of the biggest challenges faced by the traditional salesman. Back in the day, good quality data was hard to come by. By today’s definition, a name attached to a phone number qualifies as poor data. Imagine, having to make a sales proposition without having the slightest clue about the person you are dealing with!

Little to no customer follow-ups – The traditional salesman had little to no concrete concept of customer experience, which resulted in poor customer follow-ups leading to a bad customer experience. The standard operating procedure was – once a sale is made, you move to the next potential customer.

Limited customer touch points – Lack of digital platforms and pre-defined customer journeys led to limited customer touch points and lack of opportunities to make sales interventions for the salesman.

Challenges in making effective closures – This was more of a technical challenge rather a digital one. Most traditional salesmen adopted a hard-sell approach rather than a consultative, problem-solving approach to sales, leading to poor sales conversions. It took them a long time to realize that people don’t tend to react positively to hard-selling tactics.

The Anatomy of the New Age Salesman

The anatomy of the new age salesman is part technology and part advanced sales practices.A penchant for creating customer profiles based on behavioural data to leveraging the latest technology has to offer, the new age salesman is completely immersed in this digital age. Let’s take a look at the tools that make up the new age salesman.

Consultative approach – Social media has revolutionised how people communicate, especially with brands. The new age salesman leverages the power of social selling to zero-in on the next new customer and makes a proposition. The new age salesman prefers a consultative approach to selling. Rather than making a hard sell, the salesman plays the part of a consultant, exploring a potential customer’s problems and providing solutions for them. A consultative approach leads to meaningful transactions and establishes a profitable long-term relationship between the seller and the customer.

Emerging Technologies in his Kit

Analytics – This digital age is driven by data. But data is just a string of meaningless numbers without analytics. Recent technology breakthroughs have given rise to powerful analytics platforms that fuel insightful decision making. The new age salesman leverages analytics to get insights into the market landscape and existing and potential customers to form targeted sales strategies.

Artificial Intelligence – The rise of artificial intelligence and machine learning has allowed the new age salesman to spend more time making the sale rather than wasting it on repetitive administrative tasks. For example, an AI-enabled CRM could identify important customer emails, log activity and even create new contacts.

Evolved CRM and NLP – NLP has revamped the entire data entry system and revived the effectual database. CRM platforms have evolved into a sales and marketing hub. A centralised system that tracks potential and existing customers and helps the new age salesman to monitor the sales process. In short, a good CRM platform lets the salesman create a sales ecosystem.

Access to Real-Time Data – Real-time data about competitor pricing, purchasing history and online journeys allows the new age salesman to create sales pitches on-the-go, tailor-made for each individual customer. Be it the pricing, new offers or other value-added services, real-time data allows the salesman to create sales packages that deliver.

Paving Way for the Future

In the near future, every step of the sales process will be integrated with technology, advances in AI will ensure that. However, this integration will be human at its core, designed for solving human problems through sales.  Advances in NLP or Natural Language Processing will allow the new age salesman to get an insight into the mind of the customer through language patterns and tone of voice, leading to more effective sales pitches.

The new age salesman will have access to more advanced versions of CRM systems, that are powered by artificial intelligence at their core and designed to automate pretty much everything, leaving him to focus on selling. A recent report revealed that 65% of customers are lost due to indifference rather than a mistake.

Establishing rapport with the customers rather than just a transactional meeting will be the mainstay of all the sales. In fact, a new report by Impact Communications revealed that 70% of purchasing decisions are made to solve specific problems.

Empowered by digital tools and a fresh new consultative approach, the new age salesman is a far cry from the traditional salesman, who adopted cold-selling tactics and had nothing more than a sheaf of papers with basic customer information

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