“ABC: Always Be Closing” & “Coffee’s for closers” – Blake portrayed by Alec Baldwin in (Glengarry Glen Ross).
These are two of the catch phrases that are SFW from the motivational speech that’s given by Blake to the underperforming salesmen in one of the most amazing movies about sales- Glengarry Glen Ross. The speech has always remained as a controversial topic among salespeople leaving the doubt whether it’s good sales advice or not. Let’s go into some background research work before getting on to trends & tips to make your B2B sales strategy in 2018.
Selling is believed to be a noble profession. As per definition, sales is an activity related to selling or the amount of goods or services sold in a given time period. Marketing & sales differ greatly even though it is thought of as a part of marketing from a management viewpoint. Buying & selling are understood to be two sides of the same coin. This is why sales teams need to adapt not only to the market, but the buyer as well.
Glengarry Glen Ross is a movie from the early 90s & the aggressive attitude & cold remarks made by Alec Baldwin will be felt out of step in this year of 2018 especially when there are (reports from Forrester) which go like “Death of the B2B salesperson: 93% of buyers say they prefer buying online rather than from a salesperson”.
B2B sales leaders are officially in uncharted territories especially after technological disruption has achieved near totality in major industries & basic human behavior. Top notch tools are now available for sales pros for managing sales channels & customer relationships to make tasks easier but there are certain factors which includes psychology of the buyer that goes beyond tech. Sales departments of most organizations still have their hands full dealing with previous trends but it’s important to know the current trends to level up in the game.
B2B Sales Trends & Tips – 2018
1. Rise of the millennials
It’s been some time since comrades of Generation Y have finished their studies & entered the job market. Majority of them will be getting promoted into senior positions in 2018 & departments of organizations will be led by these young people.
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B2B Sales warriors should have the Jedi mentality to collaborate, manage & engage with the millennial mindset. Play cool with negotiations, when it comes to closing, as millennials prefer a more informal, natural approach to arriving at them. Salespeople, especially old schoolers must recognize that millennials are not different from other generations as they just grew up in an era where the nature of communication & information-gathering changed more dramatically than any other point in history.
2. Account Based Sales getting standard
2017 was the year of Account Based Marketing & in 2018, it’s time for Account Based Selling to grab the spotlight. Even though at times it may feel like the uproar behind Account Based Practices seem deafening, the hype has been building up for a good reason. Used correctly account based techniques can shorten the buying cycle decrease Customer Acquisition Cost, increase lead to opportunity conversion rates, reduce churn & it’s ROI is relatively simple to track.
Modern technology has enabled to identify ideal customer profiles & sales leaders are expected to make most out it. B2B Sales agents should approach these wanted accounts in the most creative ways. They should make sure that Emails & ads more personalized as value added content creation processes allow targeting new accounts from day one.
“I’m seeing my leading partners (digital marketing agencies in the U.K. and Ireland) use ABS to great effect” –( Keith Grehan)
3. Simplification as the core
The B2B sales teams winning in 2018 will be the ones who put simplicity at the heart of their processes. As ambitious sales leaders you will be exploring the latest sales trends. Over the last couple of years, there has not been a lack of them as the list goes on from big data to account based everything.
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But the core base of sales is relationship building. Those who have actually sold in the market know that even if they do not implement all the shiny new methodologies, they can still win by focusing on a systematically executing a well-defined playbook. It may not be surprising if we see more & more companies establishing professional SalesOps teams to supervise efficiency of their workflow.
4. More training for frontline soldiers
It’s no secret that SDR roles are unglamorous. You get handed an enormous list of potential leads which you proceed by blasting emails, voicemails & calling until they finally respond or ask you to stop contacting them. A newbie will have to spend a minimum of 12 months until promoted to a closing role where actual sales start for real. There won’t be any particular training, usage of creativity or originality which leads to lack of passion.
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In 2018 we will see more sales training & empowerment for SDRs as companies demand higher success rates as competition is intensifying. The goal is to better lead qualification & improve ROI as SDRs with limited or poor training is resulting in lost sales.
5. Warm calling instead of cold calling
Selling through calling is still a method used by successful B2B sales experts around the world. But if you are making your calls like it’s still 80s, it’s better to not to do it at all. Representatives should be given adequate passionate line in the sand training about what is right & what is wrong. There is nothing wrong in calling new prospects to sell your products until you become a jerk about it.
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Dial the numbers. Be upfront to the prospect regarding why you are calling. Ask proper questions. Listen to their objections & understand why they are making it. Answer their questions honestly. Do not get hurt if you here no from someone. Thank them & move on to the next prospect.
Times are changing. If a sequel of Glengarry Glen Ross is made in 2018, nobody will be talking about Always Be Closing instead it will be Always Be Consulting. While breaking away from traditional selling norms will help you stand out from salespeople who badger their prospects never forget that the ultimate aim of B2B sales is to create relationships.
Sell awesome in 2018.
Also read on: 10 MUST FOLLOW B2B SALES INFLUENCERS OF OUR TIME