I can’t tell you how many owners and CEOs I talk to who are looking for a rock star with a rolodex to save their sales. But today’s complex B2B sales require thoughtful, analytic team players who can put ego aside and involve their company’s subject matter experts in the sales process.
Recently Gart Hart of SalesDuJour wrote a great blog post about what he calls the next iteration of sales: E2E (eye to eye). His post is about how buyers want salespeople to stay behind the keyboard and not enter their space! This is an excellent analysis of today’s buyers, and I heartily recommend it. Gary’s point is that buyers do not want to get their information from sellers. They would prefer to “disintermediate” and get their information directly from your website (or someone else’s), social media sites, product review sites, and the like.
However, this is not the end of sales! It’s simply another changing circumstance that’s been going on for a long time. Gary Hart talks about the importance of “E2E” contact with buyers—that’s “eye to eye.” But E2E contact is harder than ever to achieve.
So let me offer a suggestion. In a large company considering a large deal, there are many buyers—many people who will influence the ultimate decision. Although they are not thrilled with talking to a sales rep, they do want to meet their counterparts at your company, your Subject Matter Experts (SMEs). Teaching your SMEs how to participate in the sales process, and teaching your sales professionals how to orchestrate a team sale, will give you a huge advantage and lots of E2E time.
The Whale Hunters offers several free, downloadable tools to help you teach your team, including the Buyers’ Table Tool (how to identify and understand all of the buyers) and Power Boat (how to prepare SMEs to participate in an E2E experience with the buyers. .
Also on this topic is our article Elvis is Dead, about the rock star salesperson. The article describes the characteristics you should look for in a great salesperson who would lead a sales team effectively.
The world of large account sales continues to change and will continue to do so. You gain credibility and E2E time with buyers when you educate and prepare your team as active participants. Email me Barbara (at) thewhalehunters dot com if you’d like some help!
Barbara, maybe we can start a wave of quality engagement. In today’s world, personal engagement through teamwork seems to have declined at the expense of individualism. Our individuality does not have suffered from sharing. On the contrary, sharing is how we grow in every area of life, especially business.
I was raised with the belief that when everyone does well, I do well, and, when everyone does better, I do better. Although this philosophy seems antithetical to capitalism, it is the grease that keeps free enterprise moving smoothly.
Thanks for posting! You and I are in agreement. A wave of quality engagement would be great! People need great tools and tactics as well as clear expectations to promote teamwork–often it is perceived to be too complicated, or to take too long. So the team needs to learn how to work fast and cooperatively at the same time. Requires different leadership practices.