We all know the world of sales has changed.
Consumers now have virtually all the information they need to make a purchase choice without any assistance from a “sales assistant”.
Before a significant purchase, consumers now review all sorts of web based resources that can deliver exactly the information important to them in making the choice.
It is exactly the same in B2B, sales people really only come in most of the time when the purchaser is almost ready to place an order and has all the information they need, except one bit:
The performance of the vendor and their product, by reputation, by past actions, and by undertakings about future performance
In the old days, choices were made on relative value, The purchaser had limited information, and really only chose between a few options.
Now they have enormous choice, and access to all the information that could possibly be relevant should they choose to look for it, so they are in a position to make a choice on the absolute value of the alternatives to them.
Changes the dynamics of brand building just a bit, and the old dilemma of functional priority is well and truly determined in favor of marketing, who now runs the sales show.
No longer is it about weight of distribution, advertising, number of sales people on the road, and relative value, it is about the absolute value delivered.
Now to be successful you need to be thinking about the balance between your sales and marketing investments, and making the most of marketing automation. Software and the cloud have changed the game, weather you are just using excel, the free Mailchimp and others, or going the whole mile with Marketo, Hubspot, or other enterprise solution marketing automation packages.
PS. September 2014. One of the really well known marketing writers David Meerman Scott, has written a new book called “The new rules of selling” and released a Slideshare of the same name on this topic. The book is worth reading, the slideshare is long, and summarises the ideas with great generosity.