With technology upending the B2B sales industry, it’s apparent that the one trait all sales reps need is the ability to adapt. Prospective customers have gone rogue for the most part — eliminating the need for a sales rep throughout the majority of the sales process.
As a survey by the Consumer Executive Board revealed, buyers are not contacting you — or any other vendor until they’re at least 57 percent of the way through the buying process.
So, according to sales experts, here are just 4 of the skills today’s modern sales rep needs to survive in the wild wild west that is now the B2B industry.
- Gain buyer insights. A sales rep must have the ability to understand what the buyer wants — when he wants it, according to Scott Albro, founder of the research and consulting firm TOPO. By being adept in understanding each buyer’s needs, a salesperson is more likely to engage their prospects. Accommodating their needs could be as simple as setting up a demonstration that is tailored to their needs or providing answers that are specific to where they are in the buyer’s journey.
- Use technology to gain efficiencies. Analyze areas where your sales reps can potentially gain efficiencies and target sales enablement tools to address those gaps. According to CSO Insights, only 37 percent of the time spent by sales reps doing their job is actually dedicated to sales. You also can use technology to further personalize each customer’s experience, eliminating the inefficiencies caused by a one-size-fits-all approach.
- A mastery of soft skills. Just because the sales experience has gone digital doesn’t mean that those soft human skills aren’t necessary to close the deal. Sales reps need to quickly engage prospects beyond the emails and texts, as well as adapt to the needs of a wide range of customers — especially since multiple decision-makers usually weigh in on whether or not to go with the sale.
- Adept at phone sales. With field sales moving inside, teams are moving to different forms of communicating with prospects — including telephone calls, videoconferences, and teleconferences. As Albro pointed out, salespeople will need to be effective at guiding prospects through the buyer’s funnel and to a close — all via the telephone or a screen. It will require being able to engage these prospects without the benefit of a face-to-face conversation.
When honing the skills needed to engage prospects in today’s B2B environment, it’s important to leverage a variety of tools to give your sales reps a competitive edge. MonsterConnect, a sales prospecting enablement tool, frees up your sales reps so that they can move more quickly to those one-on-one conversations with key decision-makers. Ask us about a demo.