In last week’s post I proposed that the emerging role of the mature industry B2B sales exec will increasingly feature consulting, collaborating and delegated functions that even today many customers would not have dreamed possible. Equally, the focus of effort during sales exec visits will decreasingly feature all the conditioned sales-and-services activities customers have come to expect.
What does all this mean in terms of the great myth about the number of visits and future sales force effectiveness?
It means that arbitrary numbers often quoted (without substance) will become increasingly irrelevant. From what, even now, SHOULD be a baseline of not much relevance at all. Think about it this way. New mantra. Specifically designed and tailored consulting, partnering, doing activities (that add value, challenge/teach the customer new ways of thinking and acting, “valid business reasons” that often don’t directly require the customer usage of the Sales exec’s company’s products and services ) should be mapped out into a calendar against these three respective streams. Then classic account management (sales and service) becomes the subsequent streams of valid business reasons for on-going visits.
Having a clear vision around what the value of each stream (role/function) will in itself guide the number of visits required. Link them together so that each visit features at least two, preferably three or four “vbr”. Take this draft calendar to the customer. Host the discussion on the what , why and WIIFY (what’s in it for you) . Soon mindsets change. The notion of number of visits required to influence buyer behaviour gets replaced by number of visits required to add the prescribed value. Concerns that “the customer does not want us to visit as often as every month” get replaced by programs of visits mapped out a year in advance.
This is how sales force effectiveness will be defined 2015-2020.