Sales Needs New Champions
The sales department has to take on more responsibility in our companies again.
While the typical, modern business structures designed by Peter Drucker have largely survived to this day, the role of salespeople has changed dramatically.
Nevertheless, management seems to steadfastly refuse to invest comparable budgets in sales development as they do in technology development, marketing development or HR development... And yet sales hovers like the temple roof over all these functional pillars. Organizations that recognize this importance have therefore created the position of CRO Chief Revenue Officer – a VP of Revenue and Sales. Knowing that their customers inform every step of their innovation process: how they operate in a market, what technology they develop – both equivalent and equally valuable and equal innovation approaches, according to Drucker.
During Drucker’s days, selling was simple.
Salespeople predominantly served as the contact persons to take orders - to fulfill demand, as Moesta et al. say (Demand-Side Sales, 2020). Because the demand for everything was great. And the options for alternatives were limited. Also, buyers could not easily educate themselves about the available options and relied on the help of salespersons to help them getting information.
Today, information is ubiquitous, readily available, competition is fierce and consumers are well-informed.
As a result, sellers are dealing with a completely different type of buyer. Or are they? Not quite, because we, humans, have not evolved as quickly in evolutionary terms - that's why we keep falling victim to the psychological tricks of push marketing and push advertising although we know better and only recognize clearly afterwards when that feeling of regret sets in.
What has changed: Buyers are not waiting to be sold.
They live in the age of information. And with that a new problem has emerged. Buyers and consumers are overwhelmed with mountains of information and inundated with informational overload. On top of that, “available everywhere” does not necessarily mean “easily accessible”. As a result buyers become confused and struggle to find the right solution to their unique and individual problems.
And so once again buyers rely on the help of other people: influencers and salespeople. A trusted advisor to help them curate information specifically to them – an audience of one – so they can make an informed decision.