The methods and tools for sales and exchanging services have grown and developed over time, forcing the salespeople to adjust to the demands of each new era. Now, with modern changes encouraging the online world to grow while physical sales diminish, sales professionals must once again adapt to the new ways of life. Learn more about the past, present, and future of sales.
The Past: Closing-Centric
Before the advent of online shopping, salespeople worked mostly in a face-to-face environment. They worked on closing sales from the moment a customer set foot into the store until they stepped back out, and the best salesperson in any area was the one who refused to take no for an answer.
The areas of competency necessary for sales work used to focus primarily on sales leads, with an emphasis on evaluating prospective customers and determining which ones are most likely to buy. This practice gave the salesperson an idea of who to focus his or her efforts upon and who is unlikely to make a purchase during that time. Multitasking and commitment were also critical in a proper sales position.
The Future: Customer-Centric
As time has gone on and customers are more able to research for themselves, rather than trust the word of the salesperson at hand, the role has shifted to being helpful and answering questions people may ask. Consumers have more information at their fingertips and more awareness of their options than before. The extent of competition available puts the power into the buyer’s hands rather than those of the salesperson.
In the future of sales work, the customer will take further charge over the reins, determining when and where to spend their money. The increasing complexity of relationships and competitors means that a sales professional’s mindset will have to adjust. Those who wish to seek work in the sales force will have to focus on helping the customer find products that fit their needs, not merely selling whatever’s in stock.
The Present: Change-Focused
To train your sales team properly, you’ll have to focus on more than speaking smoothly and convincingly. Your workers will need to develop expertise not only in the product they sell but also in the lifestyles and companies that benefit from the use of those products. If your sales force is familiar with the people they sell to, they’ll be better able to convince their target audience that your product will help them accomplish their own goals.
Your marketing department should learn to work hand-in-hand with your sales team. Your online presence should offer useful and meaningful information upon which your sales team can capitalize. Both groups should work to help the customers find the products or services that will help them most, functioning as a business consultant, promoting the function of your company as essential to the workings of the customer’s operations.
Though moving to a consulting role, a salesperson’s job is still as critical as when they used the old methods. The abilities to answer questions, guide conversations, and identify buying behavior are valuable for your sales force to know. As the market grows increasingly competitive, you’ll need a talented sales force to keep your business afloat.
If your company needs talented minds for your sales team in the era of digital online buying, Treeline can help you out. With 20 years of sales recruiting experience and a 97% success rate, Treeline has access to the candidates your company needs to make your sales team thrive. Get in touch today to see how Treeline can fill the roles you need in a fraction of the time and well within your budget.