The new market has created several new market trends for 2010, however one of the most significant trends we see here at Treeline is found in the technology industry. Our technology clients are currently the most aggressive when it comes to hiring sales professionals and the majority of our open roles are for software companies. They certainly have the most urgency and are the most progressive to adapt in the new market. They have adopted many new sales strategies that have proven to be not only effective but efficient. The majority of the changes have been in the structure of the sales team. The traditional technology sales force is comprised of a lead generation team, inside sales team and a field sales team. In the late 90's and for the decade that followed many technology companies built a very large field sales presence. Over the years, we have helped many companies build large field sales teams however over the past year and a half the sales model has changed. With cloud computing and the conversion from applications to Software as a Service (SaaS), we have seen a rise in consumer confidence and an adoption to purchasing products via web demos and conference calls. Therefore the need for a large field sales presence is not as cost effective or efficient as it once was. Technology companies are progressively moving away from a large field sales force and more aggressively trending toward an inside sales presence.
The market has shifted and consumers on the business to business front find more comfort building relationships through conference calls and web demos. The pay-as-you-go SaaS model is very effective for both buyers and sellers. As a result, many technology companies are finding little need for a face to face meeting and a hand shake. The average sale size has been reduced due to a monthly reoccurring subscription cost and the ability to close deals over the phone is continuing to increase. In some cases we are seeing our clients close business up to $500k in products and services without ever meeting their client.
What does this all mean? It means that business to business sales as we know it are going through a very dramatic shift. Consumers purchase products differently due to new online technology and technology companies in many cases are leading the way to changing their genetic sales make up. They are trending toward a large centrally based sales force and a small field sales presence. What this means is that field sales professionals will find their new roles will require a greater percentage of time inside as opposed to being on the road. A new wave of sales professionals are being developed and they are learning how to buy and close business via the web. Companies are trending toward a central location where resources, energy, camaraderie, and culture can be shared and built. Not only is this model strong and scalable, but companies can build depth quickly and build organizations rapidly. More importantly, companies can reduce the cost of sale and become more profitable by bringing their sales force to the inside. After the market crash, every company has the common goal to increase revenue while reducing overhead.
Like it or not, agree or disagree, one thing is for certain: times are changing. Sales organizations are adapting and changing and as a sales leader it is imperative that you change with them.