We hear the term “modern sales” thrown around a lot. But what does it actually mean?
At this year’s Ambition Customer Summit, Sahil Mansuri, CEO of Bravado, led a discussion about modern sales with fellow sales experts:
Read on for a few of our favorite takeaways from the panel!
Modern sales is all about penetrating through the noise.
All day every day, buyers are getting hit with great sales pitches and smart value propositions. How do you compete? How do you cut through the noise? Our job, as sales leaders, is to show our teams how to land our unique value proposition with the buyer not just in a way that’s relevant, but in a way that’s incredibly personal.
It seems obvious, but in a world where automation has become king, keeping our conversations personalized and human will help to land our value prop with our buyer.
Bottom line: There are a lot of tactics and techniques that help us prioritize personalization, but ultimately, it all comes down to leading with solutions, not features and benefits.
Buyers don’t always have all the information.
In a lot of ways, this is the ultimate pendulum swing. For years, we’ve heard so much chatter about modern buyers and how they’ve got access to an insane level of information about whatever we’re selling. And to be fair, that hasn’t necessarily changed.
But we tend to make one big knowledge assumption: that buyers know how to buy. Sure, after hitting up our websites, reading reviews, and digging into all the content that’s available, they may know just as much about our product as we do. But when it comes to actually purchasing, especially at an enterprise level, it’s more complicated than ever before.
As modern sales leaders, it’s up to us to make sure our reps and account executives know that even after they’ve sold their prospect on the product, their work is not done. They must guide their champion through every step of the buying process, helping to:
pull in the right stakeholders and decision-makers
get buy-in from the team
communicate needs, resources and next steps
Bottom line: If you assume that your buyer knows how to get a deal done, you could be setting yourself up for a lot of great deals that never cross the finish line.
The customer experience is being spread throughout the market.
What people are saying about our product and our brand are incredibly important. Prospects look to their peers and colleagues for insight and advice, so we should certainly keep an eye on what people are saying about what we’re actually selling.
But modern sales leaders know that we should also be mindful of what people are saying about us — that is, the people who are doing the selling. How are we treating our current customers, and how are we interacting with our prospects? Are we giving them what they’re asking for and what they need at every step of the way?
One suggestion from our panelists is to talk to our customers about their buying experience. What was great? What turned them off? How did our team handle roadblocks and challenges along the way?
Bottom line: Sales managers should gather information from their current customers, then use it to coach their current teams and inform future recruitment and hiring criteria.
Culture first. Always.
We’ll never stop beating this drum — and our Summit panelists agreed: culture isn’t a vague, fluffy, icing-on-the-cake value-add. Modern sales leaders understand that culture is the key to unlocking your reps’ potential, to keeping them engaged, to attracting and retaining the top talent.
What is culture, exactly? To paraphrase our panelists:
Your culture is your energy on your sales floor, which your sales managers have the power to stoke by spinning up spiffs or offering amazing, creative incentives
It’s your relationships with your reps, which sales managers can build through frequent, personalized coaching conversations
It’s the motivation and morale that you build by recognizing wins big and small, the second they happen
It’s creating accountability by ensuring there’s complete transparency around expectations and visibility into performance.
Bottom line: Modern sales leaders know culture may be a buzzword, but it’s not a trend. They always have an eye on culture, and they keep it at the forefront of every new initiative and process that they put in place.
Want to learn more about what's happening in the "modern" sales world? Download our 2019 "State of Sales Performance" Report and be sure you're keeping pace with the industry.