We asked Sales Performance International executives and consultants what kind of changes we can expect to see for the sales profession in the coming new year and compiled their perspectives and opinions in our eBook, “Sales Performance Improvement Trends for 2018 and Beyond”.
Jon Ticehurst is a Senior Sales Consultant at SPI and manages accounts in the UK and Europe.
What major trend do you see in your area of sales or learning performance expertise?
I have seen a dramatic drop in response rates from executive-level prospects. Reaching this audience will become even more challenging once GDPR comes into effect mid-year.
What is causing this trend?
Sales leadership is being contacted too often by too many companies with too many offers. Marketers and business development reps carpet bomb executives with email, telephone, voicemail, and social media, and now prospects are impervious to it and they are not reading the outbound marketing. People are being too oversold with everyone promising to help them sell more faster and at a lower cost. Sadly, few vendors can credibly support any claims they make.
What opportunities or threats does the trend pose for businesses and sales organizations?
Companies that continue to blast irrelevant, low-quality sales and marketing messages will see their business development efforts pay off even less in the future than today. Conversely, those who transition into a more customized, personalized and differentiated approach may stand out.
In light of the trend, what advice do you have for business and sales leaders?
Companies need to transition from carpet bombing every possible executive to a more of an account-focused strategy. Identify the companies with whom you want to do business, research the key players and company issues to determine if or how you can help them, and then reach out in a highly personalized way. Such a business-development approach requires sophisticated research skills and strong business acumen. Have your marketing teams continue to drive inbound opportunities, but also allocate resources to support this high touch, high-pay-off initiatives. Where possible, utilize trigger events and buyer-intent insights to identify targets with a more immediate need. These targets will be more likely to respond to you than targets who are satisfied with the status quo.
Download our eBook “Sales Performance Improvement Trends for 2018 and Beyond” today!