Liliana Rizopulos

By Liliana Rizopulos

The great shift in power

The great shift in power 150 150 Liliana Rizopolous

The great shift in power
It’s all about the customer!

In this ever faster changing and increasingly complex world the need to adapt is crucial. There are several ongoing global super trends, elegantly described in a newly published book by the research company ProSales. These super trends are affecting the way we conduct business. Failure to understand and act on these trends might lead us in the wrong direction and cause us to make the wrong decisions, or worse, not making decisions, which might prove to be fatal for our companies.

Polarization of Sales Logics

For the better part of the last century, the focus was on developing great products that basically sold themselves. Sales organizations, in the case they existed and depending on the product, were focused on meeting as many prospective customers as possible and highlighting unique product features and superiority compared to the competition.

In those days the product knowledge of the sales representatives was crucial for the buyers in order to educate themselves prior to making objective buying decisions. The role of the salespeople was to provide relevant information to the potential customers about the product, close the deal, and then move on to the next prospect. The more they did it the better they became in the art of conveying unique selling points in a convincing way. Now add some social skills to the mix and it is almost a guaranteed success. You might think that I am describing the current way of selling, and you would be right, to a certain extent.

With the arrival of the Internet, however, this old sales logic also called “Traditional Sales Logic”, has slowly been disrupted, and today we can clearly see that it is being overtaken by two other sales logics with their own respective success factors. What is causing this change?

Today, a vast majority of the B2B buyers have already done much of the research on the Internet, before even contacting a vendor. Almost all purchases start with a search on the Internet today, and the buyers have the upper hand in the sales meetings. The relevance of the traditional salesperson as an information provider is decreasing.

A polarization of Sales Logics is taken place, which changes the way we do business. Depending on the customer’s buying complexity (The customer’s perception of risks and efforts in relation to the purchase), vendors have to adhere to either a more Transactional Sales Logic, or a more Complex Sales Logic. Let me explain.

For products and services with low buying complexity, there is no longer a need for salespeople. Thanks to the digital revolution, we can now buy millions of things online without expensive human intervention. From the vendor perspective, the cost of sales is decreasing and far more prospects can be reached than before. It makes perfect business sense.

On the other hand, when the risks and efforts of the buying organization are perceived to be high, or a customized solution is required, there is usually a need for a thorough analysis of potential risks and consequences by several stakeholders in the company, making the whole buying process more complex. From a sales perspective, industry knowledge, customer business understanding, and a consultative approach throughout the sales process are crucial aspects of the Complex Sales Logic.

The traditional way of selling from the past does no longer create value for the customer. To continue with the Traditional Sales Logic is a dead-end going forward. The choice of which Sales Logic to adopt has huge implications on the strategy, organization, leadership, and performance management. Companies need to choose between these polarized Sales Logics, or clearly separate them when designing the sales organization.

The benefits of doing this are clearly shown in ProSales Institute’s research and lead to an important increase in profitability. Sadly, many companies are still applying leadership styles, KPIs and remuneration models belonging to the Traditional Sales Logic of the past, even though their businesses have evolved to a more Complex Sales Logic. This has been proven to be counterproductive and leads to unwanted behaviors, which in turn result in less business and lower profitability.

For more information, please visit https://www.asteriinternational.com

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