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BizReport : Advertising : May 19, 2015


Expert: Salespeople still important for B2B brands

Online tools and platforms are growing in the B2B sector, but according to one expert salespeople continue to be vital to the industry.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: Why should brands continue to hire salespeople when there are so many online and mobile solutions to help consumers?

Sean Gordon, CEO, Intelliverse: I don't think there will ever be a time where salespeople are completely obsolete. Digitally enabled selling models can't provide the actual, human connection that sales still relies so heavily on - the personal interactions that drive trust, portray the brand and make people want to do business with the company. These are some of the key aspects to driving sales. I believe that complementing salespeople with technology that makes their jobs easier is the number one thing companies should be focused on, rather than ignoring salespeople and their vital roles.

Kristina: What do actual salespeople offer that B2B brands can't get from technology?

Sean: Building relationships and engaging in meaningful interactions are things technology can't do better than people. B2B purchasers want information specific to their needs, and online research or computers can't necessarily answer all of their in-depth questions. Salespeople can provide more personalized answers. Additionally, salespeople nurture relationships so that B2B purchasers aren't just one-time customers.

Kristina: How can brands ensure their salespeople are ready to connect with clients?

Sean: Although I don't believe salespeople will become obsolete at the hands of technology, I do think all salespeople need some level of technology to help them do the administrative parts of their jobs more efficiently. As an example, brands need to equip salespeople with the proper tools to gather background information on prospects so they can quickly pull up information before a call. Additionally, email trackers, which allow salespeople to see when, where and on what device their email was opened, are a great example of how technology can be inserted into the mundane tasks of salespeoples' jobs in order to better connect with clients.

Kristina: Do you foresee a time when it will be smarter for brands to use technology rather than sales people?

Sean: I think we'll see technology-enabled salespeople rather than one or the other. At its core, sales is about building relationships to drive deals. While technology alone can drive deals, it can't build the same type of relationships that people can. Nowadays buyers are more educated than ever before. According to Forrester Research, buyers are 65-90 percent through the buying process before they even make their first contact with a seller. Therefore, sales has become more consultative in nature. Salespeople are focusing on building relationships and arming potential prospects with valuable information to help them be more successful in their business. Ultimately, this connection helps drive results for the salesperson.

We're already seeing many sales automation startups raising capital and saturating the market. I think this will continue as the industry realizes that salespeople need technology to do their jobs better, but businesses don't need technology to replace salespeople.

Tags: automated business, b2b tips, b2b trends, ecommerce, Intelliverse, sales people trends










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