In the modern sales market, consumers are smarter, and they expect much more from the businesses they interact with. Before the age of internet consumerism, a buyer’s first interaction with a salesperson might have been in the prospecting stage. The consumer had a general understanding of a company’s products or services, but in order to receive more information they would be put directly in the line of the person who could sell them in the future.
Hubspot reports that “only 29% of people want to talk to a salesperson to learn more about a product, while 62% will consult a sales engine.”
On top of that, 58% of consumers want to talk about price in the very first conversation with a sales person, which just illustrates how they are doing their research before reaching out to companies.
Traditional “Closers” can get a quick grasp on the potential customer, and can adjust their conversation to make points on the issues the potential wants to hear. They only need to figure out what the customer needs to make a decision, and they will provide it. Sellers that focus on building relationships don’t have much of a chance in this new market. They simply aren’t given enough time with the potential to make an impact.
An overview of the team
If traditional sellers no longer makes the cut, who should you place on your team if you want to reach the modern consumer? Below, you can see the necessary skills that modern sales teams need to have.
Before we talk about skills, the first thing to consider is while traditional sale teams were competitive, and focused highly on making more sales than person next to you, the modern sales team needs to work together in order to be effective.
Each person on the team contributes specific skills. It’s like comparing a tennis team to a soccer team. In tennis, each player works to win their own match, and has to hope that others will win theirs as well. In soccer, the goalie has to hope their defenders are strong, and the defenders have to hope that their offense is tactical and can score.
The second thing to consider is, with the new frame of thinking, you can potentially decrease the size of your sales team. It’s just important to evaluate how big your market is, and more importantly what skills may be more important than others. Traditional sales teams hire based on how many leads each sales person can juggle at once. More prospects usually means more hiring.
The modern sales team focuses on the entire size of the market, and what skills are necessary in a specific market.
The Modern Sales Team
The Marketing Expert
A proper modern sales teams works in tangent with the marketing team. If a company is too small to have a marketing division, it’s important to have someone on the sales team who knows how to write lead generating content. This might include emails, social media, or web content, all with the focus of reaching directly to the consumer.
Each marketing attempt is designed to work with tracking technology. That way, the team can constantly stay updated on where an individual is in the sales funnel.
This person can also quickly write content for workflows. They are willing to test out multiple different angles to find what will be most effective.
- Can write content quickly
- “Wordsmith”- doesn’t make many grammar or spelling mistakes
- Knows target markets and how to reach them with content
- Potential Weaknesses:
- Too attached to content that isn’t proving to be effective
- Asks for additional resources to make campaigns
- Biggest Obstacle:
- Most Marketers don’t know how track content. They will need guidance from the technology expert.
Sales Automation Specialist
This person knows how to work sales and marketing systems. They know how to set up workflows and campaign, sort through data, and create sales projections using data.
They know how long it usually takes to see a lead, and can tell you exactly how to access a customer’s information. They are experts in all programs that the company uses including the CRM, PQM, marketing programs, lead generation system, or other. They know how these programs do or do not integrate with each other, but regardless can tell you how they affect one another.
- Sees numbers and projections
- Can quickly grasp new programs and tech systems
- Can quickly integrate data with sales goals through automation or workflow creation
- Exact opposite of the conversationalist.
- May not want to do traditional selling, will want to use automation for most of the business.
- Needs the direction of the team on what they should automate or what problem needs to be solved
When a customer gets on the phone, the person that picks up needs to be an effective communicator. Similar to a closer, they need to evaluate what the customer needs and get it for them with the best costumer service they can manage. If the customer isn’t looking buy yet, the conversationalist can provide whatever information the customer is looking for. If the customer is ready to buy, the conversationalist should have access to their information and be able to make the conversation as custom as possible. Using technology and CRMs, even if a customer is calling for the first time, modern sales teams will know who they are, what type of project they are working on, and potentially even their budget.
- Smooth with answering questions, and solving problems over the phone
- Can transition from one type of customer to a different type of customer without needing a break
- Serves as customer service
- Becomes the first person to be overwhelmed if too many leads are coming in, or if the team isn’t balanced.
- May take too much time on one customer and let other potential leads go cold
- Might not trust the process. Feels more comfortable working a customer from very beginning, to the very end.
It may seem overwhelming to undertake developing a new type of sales team. That’s ok. This sort of transition takes time and organization. However, in order to keep up with savvy customers, organizations need to think about how they can update their sales workflow, and their sales team.