Mathew Sweezey, an author, keynote speaker, and Principal of Marketing Insights at Salesforce.com, joins me on this episode.
Mathew says the biggest challenge facing sales professionals is understanding how people relate, how they want to be sold, and what they’re actually buying. A-type personalities do not often make the best sales professionals.
Many sales postings ask for extroverts. These companies may not be around long. One third of the Fortune 500 has been replaced in the last decade. Old ideas are past. What a company sells, and how it sells, are separate issues.
Salesforce surveyed organizations in 2016 to determine traits of high-performance B2B marketers. They used two self-selecting questions to identify the high performers.
The questions asked their happiness with their position in their market, and with marketing outcomes. If these were exceptional, they were doing other things exceptionally. The top factor was executive buy-in, because tools are costly.
Executive buy-in is the top factor in any organizational change. The CEO holds the organization accountable, and provides the funds to do it.
High-performing organizations invest more in tools. High performers use 12 tools in their stack, vs. one-to-five. There must be a base level of technology in place to know the consumer. The C-suite is continually being asked for budget.
Mathew shares his opinion on Gartner’s prediction that 80% of the B2B sales process will be owned by Marketing by 2020. Sales still works, but buyers have a new process. It’s the experience in total that matters.
Customers will continue to have more information before talking to the salesperson. There will still be many touchpoints. Sales roles will shift and change. There will be a new relationship-building role between Marketing and Sales.
The new role must be focused on the relationship. SaaS close rates are poor when the relationship is neglected. Andy cites Absolute Value. Matthew cites The Experience Economy, which places experience over product.
People are learning. Skillsets, behaviors, and habits are going to change. The future of selling is about becoming more human, not less. Technology can only help you make better decisions. Matt quotes Tim Washer about blogs.
Jacco vanderKooij writes about the emotional phases of the buying experience. Joe Pine writes about guiding the buyer to next question they need to ask through the buying experience. It is a human process of solving problems.
The customer experience is about achievement, not about pain points. Support the customer on the story arc where they want to be.