A question we often get in many Australian Sales Training, Call Centre Training and Sales Management training companies is, “Is Traditional, Face-To-Face Selling On The Way Out?”
Almost every organisation today has a presence on the internet and it’s not surprising considering how many customers have begun to get into the habit of buying products online.
It makes sense as it’s what the academics and ‘futurists’ of the business world refer to as “The New Economy”, brought on by the digital revolution.
So a question we often get in many of KONA’s Australian Sales Training, Call Centre Training and Sales Management training in Sydney and Melbourne is, “Is Traditional, Face-To-Face Selling On The Way Out?”
If you happen to be in a traditional selling industry, and your sales people are old school “product flogging, brochure dropping, order taking, rep” they might be asking themselves …..”How long before I lose my job? Am I going to be replaced by SEO and a laptop? Who is this ubiquitous sales person I keep hearing about called Add To Cart?”
Your sales people will continue to keep their jobs and pay check every month UNLESS they are either one of those aforementioned “product flogging, brochure dropping, order taking, rep” or are consistently behind target, then realistically they don’t deserve to keep their job as they haven’t moved forward with the times, while the world around them has
While it has hopefully been covered in your organisations recent sales training courses and sales management training, while the internet has certainly been a huge source of business growth, it’s still far from replacing the conventional sales person who interacts with customers face-to-face for the following reasons:
1) On an annual basis, the amount of dollars spent by companies on their field sales training courses, customer service training and call centre training is 3 times more than what is spent for all consumer ads.
It is 20 times more than the money spent on online media and a hundred times more than what is presently being spent on social media.
2) As per results of a Gallup study, 62% of adults who use social media say it has not influenced their buying decisions. Only 30% say it has had “some influence” and a mere 5% said its influence on their buying options was great.
3) From the Bureau of Labor Statistics, their data shows that in 2012, nearly fourteen million (14,000,000) people continue to be employed in sales jobs in the U.S., which is the same figure as in 1992, before the emergence of the internet.
In addition, when you factor in the other sales-related positions that have acquired fancier names like marketing associates, or business developers or account executives and product specialists, which for reporting purposes are not included in the category of sales, the numbers increase phenomenally.
4) U.S. retail sales online (on the internet) is $300 billion.
Sure, that sounds big! But it’s only 6% of the total retail sales in the country.
So, what is all of this data really saying?
From all indications, it’s saying that the true, honest-to-goodness, value adding salesperson is here to stay.
The demands of today’s customers are a lot more challenging than before and your whole team of professional sales people need to adapt their sales approach to the modern era and do what they do only better
However if you have sales people who demonstrate the following behaviours then you have a problem as they are just not adding value:
– Dropping in to see a customer to “catch-up”
– Having no call plan or call objective,
– Talking only about your own products and not understanding your customers business,
– Only meeting people at operational level and not at Senior Management level
– Not prospecting and relying on existing accounts
– Not closing or asking for the order
– Relying on problem solving and ‘relationship building’ to differentiate from their competition
Hope Is NOT A Strategy, so going forward how are you going to improve the performance of your sales people?
What do you need them to do differently or better?
Or are you already resigned to them being replaced by the Internet?