Archive for October, 2018

The Sales Person of The future

 

The salesperson of the future faces a tough audience – one that is both information rich and time poor. Technology has become so embedded in our daily lives that we depend on it at work, at home and at play. We have been conditioned to turn to Google for the answers to our burning questions, for everything from settling arguments, to looking for jobs, to seeking medical advice, or researching our next major purchase.

We are so flooded with information that we no longer need a face-to-face sales encounter to make informed purchases. In fact, it could be argued that buyers often prefer experiences where they don’t have to interact with a salesperson in order to make an informed decision.

SUPPORTING OR COUNTERING ‘EVIDENCE’
If a prospect of yours want to find favourable information and feedback about your business, your product or your service, they will most certainly be able to search for it and find information that supports that bias (unless you are consistently woeful at what you do!) – Equally, should they want a counterargument against your offering and find reasons not to purchase from you, they’ll most likely find that too. It’s ready access to these buying motivators and detractors that adds an additional layer of difficulty, and indeed opportunity for those organisations which correctly identify the sales people of the future.

QUALITIES OF THE SALESPERSON OF THE FUTURE

In this information access age, more than half the buyer’s journey is complete before we ever reach out to a salesperson, so consumers come to the modern sales experience armed with more knowledge than ever – information often gleaned from clever marketing and copywriting campaigns.
So what qualities are going to be important for the salesperson of the future if they hope to compete with the technological change and the increasingly informed (nee sceptical) consumer?

The qualities organisations have traditionally sought in their salespeople, such as:
an outgoing personality
      a drive to succeed,
         a persuasive & unambiguous communication style, 
           the capacity to make strong interpersonal connections to develop trust,
              along with a resilience to rejection & failure
will continue to be a requisite for any business building role… However those attributes alone are not going to be enough to win over increasingly savvy customers and close deals in the future.

The salesperson of the future will certainly need to be an expert in their field whilst having an underlying curiosity and genuine motivation to learn more about their prospects’ expectations, goals and potential biases for and against your offering. Moving through rudimentary ‘discovery’ questions just so they can get to their pro forma pitch will not be enough to counter the pre-informed consumer.

They’ll need to be willing to play the long game when required with a combination of patience and persistence. They have to be creative and adaptable, willing to disrupt the traditional buyer’s journey, whilst understanding how to complement any prerequisites or established preferences with their own tailored offering.

That all sounds like a tall order!

SO, HOW DO YOU RECOGNISE (AND HIRE) A SALESPERSON OF THE FUTURE?

As a current or recent user of Caliper Profiling tools, you’ll understand the part those tools can play in gaining accurate insight into the tendencies, challenges and inherent strengths of your sales candidates. However you may not as yet have fully experienced the opportunities that exist to work with us to build bespoke sales benchmarks that include the above traits and behaviours that support the more traditional sales attributes. Depending somewhat on the nature of your product / service offering, here are a few sales competencies we recommend you also consider for your future (and next) business building candidates…

  • Information Seeking  – The capacity & propensity to press for exacting information and to close any information gaps.
  • Active Listening –  The inherent motivation to enhance ones understanding by providing full attention and interest to the content and meaning behind others’ messages.
  •  Interpersonal Sensitivity –  The self-awareness to understand ones own behaviours and the intuitiveness know how those behaviours impacts on others – along with the willingness to modify the approach to achieve mutually agreeable outcomes. 
  • Analytical Thinking –  The capacity to grasp underlying concepts, identify root causes to problems and formulate solutions that synchronise with information previously unearthed.

and as always, you can rest assured that you’ll receive verbal and/or written overview of the profile data that provides the information in clear terms and applicable context.

SO, WHAT’S THE NEXT BEST STEP?

We recommend that you fully utilise us, as your Caliper Certified Consultant, to discuss in detail, the essential attributes required – the nuances of your market – the biases of your prospective customers – and the potential barriers to your offering – and we further recommend that you have this conversation with us prior to placing your next sales vacancy advertisement… The Reason..? Well that discussion may assist with ad wording that can enhance the process of filtering the best matched candidates from those who merely present well in person or on paper.

We Look forward to helping you find your Sales Person of the Future… soon!

Cheers!

Jeff Austin
Actual to Ideal Candidate Profiling
Certified Caliper Consultant

Jeff Austin - Business Coach Bunbury