Think about this. Twitter did not exist 8 years ago. No one was on Facebook 10 years ago, and the iPad is only 4! The connected world has changed dramatically, and so too has the role of the salesperson.

In the last 5 years B2B salespeople, sales managers and company executives have seen the role of the salesperson change dramatically. Here are 5 things that have changed dramatically for salespeople in the last 5 years.

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1. The Customer is WAY more educated when they engage with a salesperson – Your products, features, prices, customer opinions, everything is available online to the customer before the talk to a salesperson. This fundamentally changes the role of the salesperson in the buying process.

2. Customers are being influenced across vast multi-channel mix – Face to Face is no longer the dominant way of communicating with customers.Social, Online, Email, Text, Events, etc. All of these channels now influence your customers and as a result the salesperson must now expand and work within the same universe.

3. Your world has gone digital – In your hand is more power, information and potential than ever before. Gone are the days of paper brochures, contracts and marketing materials. Mobile technology has provided the opportunity for the salesperson to have instant access to a vast amount of information. The question is, what will they do with it?

4. Sales and Marketing are Merging – The lines are quickly blurring between what is sales and what is marketing. The companies and salespeople who adopt and embrace the merge will win, those who dont……

5. To be successful salespeople can no longer “sell” – The customers dont need a salesperson anymore, they need a tour guide. A tour guide to the industry. A tour guide to help navigate questions, problems and potential solutions, even if they have nothing to do with the salespersons company. Real value, real salespeople are no longer selling, but are focused on helping customers make truly informed decisions.

In the last 5 years, lots has changed for the profession of sales and the changes keep coming. Successful companies are embracing the change and re-aligning their sales departments to put the customer at the centre of the discussion, focusing on how they are influenced and how they buy. In turn they are adapting and enabling their salespeople to thrive in the new world of sales.

Have you adapted?