In my most recent post I lamented the lack of hard data to substantiate any link between the number or frequency of sales visits to begin influencing buyer behaviour. I have lost track of the number of times I have been told by Heads of Sales, words to the effect of…“that’s ok for you Glenn to suggest that our reps should visit our Tier 1 customers monthly, but many of these customers tell us that they just don’t want to see our people that often”
If you have found yourself saying or thinking this, then please excuse yourself to go to the corner and hang your head in shame for a minute or two. There is plenty of good research and predictive prose around to paint the picture of how the role of the B2B sales exec is going to evolve and what sales force effectiveness is going to look like over the coming 5 years. Take a look. Think about how it applies to your sales team and market.
The members of most B2B sales teams are progressively going to become less involved with simple sales and service, and conversely more active as program leaders with the relevant players in key accounts. What does that mean and look like? First they will need to play an on-going role as trusted consultant to the customer (stakeholder/s). Challenging and teaching the customer how to compete better in their industry/market. Secondly, they will need to play an on-going role as trusted collaborator to customer stakeholders. Challenging and teaching what was never thought possible to do together for the mutual benefit of each company. Thirdly, they will need to play an on-going role as trusted doer. Challenging and teaching what was never thought possible by the customer as to what they supplier company/sales exec could do for them.
What does all this mean in terms of the great myth about the number of visits and future sales force effectiveness. Come back next week and we will dig deeper.
Come back next week for Part 3 – ‘The great myth about the number of visits required to influence buyer behaviour – imperative for your sales force effectiveness’