Whether it be electronics, appliances, or clothing, when you go to purchase these items you’re going to be facing a salesperson. Over time, sales have changed dramatically and if you want to make it as a salesperson, you have to be relevant or let’s face it; be deleted.
Buyers have changed over time, and 70% of the buying process is complete before the buyer even engages with a salesperson. Marketing has a great deal with sales and it is currently shifting to inbound marketing with the use of web-based content and recommendations from others to attract leads. On average, the decision makers need to consume 5 pieces of content before being ready to speak to a sales representative. There is also an increase in the number of decision makers in a sale as well. Larger buying teams means there are more people for the salesperson to educate, influence, and coordinate.
With social media and technology being on the constant rise, this has begun to change everything. It took 38 years for the radio to reach 50 million users, while it only took TV 13 years to reach the same amount of people. When MP3 players such as the iPod became popular, it only took 4 years to reach 50 million users. Then we were introduced to social media websites. To reach the same amount of users as the previous products, Facebook only took 1 year to reach the large sum of people and only 9 months for Twitter. So, it is safe to say with the social web we have today, products are reaching consumers at an accelerated rate.
Since consumers are hearing about products much quicker now than they were years ago, there have been a decrease in sales representatives. With this decrease means a drop in employment for sales professionals- a decrease from 18 million to 4 million. By 2020, customers will manage 85% of their relationships with the enterprise without interacting with a human. And with that being said, 100 million people are expected to telecommute by 2013.
If you’re in the market of selling and you haven’t already, it’s time to update your tool kit. Evolve your products and upgrade to social communication. Make sure your business stays relevant; it’s all about the customer.