Buyer Behaviours, AI & the Future of Sales Roles

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According to Gartner Research, by 2020 85% of interactions between businesses will be executed without human interaction. [i]

Automation has already diminished the number of people required for blue collar manufacturing roles; however, with the advent of AI (artificial intelligence), big data and algorithms, we are beginning to see sweeping changes happening across the once untouchable white collar sector, including the very people-oriented roles of sales, as many buyers shift part or all of their buying journey ...

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Why I want to tell you what to do, but I won’t, even if I know better

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We’ve all been there

How many times do we want to tell our clients what to do?

After only a few sentences uttered by them we, of course, know immediately what their issue is. We’ve seen it 10s or 100s of times before. It seems so obvious to us what they should do.

“If only they would just do this… it would be so much better/ save them so much time/ get them there faster/ make them safer, etc.” I hear ...

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How do we sell in a Circular Economy?

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What is the Circular Economy?

Circular economy is an alternative for the “Take, Make, Consume and Dispose” mindset and business model.

It is easiest to imagine first if we look at the living natural world where there is no landfill, no waste: in this biological cycle things live and die and are recycled and repurposed by nature in a circular manner. There is no waste.

Unlike the human world where we have adopted, for many years as part of the industrial ...

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Salespeople at Risk of Becoming Obsolete

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The proliferation of internet-based sales channels, that offer everything from simple items such as a toothbrush to some fairly complicated services including insurance, banking and even major items in the B2B sector means that the traditional role of product focused salespeople has changed. Sadly, some companies and quite a few salespeople continue to ignore the encroaching tsunami.

So just what has changed?

The long-time staple of selling (i.e. features and benefits) is no longer adequate. Whilst buyers still need ...

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The Silent Majority

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The history of sales methodologies and salespeople is full of twists and turns. With a few excellent –or at least well-intentioned– ways of selling and many others that are the complete opposite.

There was a time when the salesperson was the only one with information about new products—from the end of the 19th century to mid-20th century; they were the experts and customers were in their hands when it came to make a buying decision. This ...

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HOPE is not a Sales Strategy

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Hope isn’t a sales strategy and without the right ingredients failure is certain

The protocol for developing a sales strategy is fundamentally different to that used for other business strategies. Even the thinking that drives a sales strategy is somewhat different to that which drives marketing strategies. Here are a few guidelines:

  1. The golden rule that underpins any sales strategy is knowledge. By learning as much as one can about the market, buyers and the alternatives buyers have, sales is ...
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The difference between Sales and Marketing Segmentation

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To segment or not to segment that is the question.

Traditionally, marketing has almost always dictated what a segment was. But sales segmentation and marketing segmentation are substantially different. In fact, it is these very differences that make sales strategy so different from marketing strategy.

Marketing defines segments as “A group of people that share one or more demographic and / or psychographic characteristics”.

However, salespeople deal with people, not groups.

Traditional segmentation usually takes into account how attractive a segment is ...

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Self-discipline and being organised pays

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Being disciplined and organised makes good dollars and cents.

To be on track with your sales quota you need to be organised, have a plan you stick to, and use a system for effective selling.

It’s never too late to start, regardless of where you are on the road towards realising your sales targets. All it really takes is some thought and self-discipline.

Probably the single biggest reason we see sales people struggle to make sales targets is ...

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Better sales outcomes through discernment

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What is discernment?

Discernment is the quality of being able to grasp and comprehend what is obscure[1]. It comes from from Old French discerner (13c.) “distinguish (between), separate” (by sifting), and directly from Latin discernere “to separate, set apart, divide, distribute; distinguish, perceive,” from dis- “off, away” (see dis-) + cernere “distinguish, separate, sift” (see crisis)[2]. According to the Cambridge dictionary, it is the ability to judge people and things well.

In this busy, cluttered and ...

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Engineers, technicians & scientists as sales professionals

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It has been a long held belief that extroverts made the best sales people; the gift of the gab, being charming and persuasive, telling a good story, people oriented and friendly, and all that. However, given the increasing need to make well informed decisions and manage risk before we buy, our warm, chatty, convivial friends may need to learn a lesson or two from the more ambiverted/ introverted types many of whom are deep thinking techies, geeks, and ...

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