Salespeople, your jobs are in danger. By 2020, a report from Forrester Research, 1 million B2B sales roles will become obsolete. This means roughly one quarter of current salespeople will be out of a job.
Here are the top five things you should do by 2020 to future-proof your career:
See the Bigger Picture
To succeed, sales people will need to immediately figure out how their product fits into both the prospect’s individual goals and the overall company strategy.
Build an Online Brand
Having a resilient online presence will help you today — but in a few years, it’ll mean the difference between winning and falling behind on deals.
Today, buyers say they are far more likely to engage with salespeople if they are thought leaders or subject matter experts and building that reputation is so much harder if you do not have online presence.
Can you pull trust and personal relationships without a strong social media presence? Sure, but it’s meant to be harder — especially as social media’s importance in our professional lives starts rivaling its importance in our personal ones.
“You won’t be able to leave it all to marketing,” an expert says. “You’ll be responsible for creating your own digital presence.”
Change the Way Prospects Think
Not all content is created equal. It’s becoming more common to find leads who have been misled by unreliable sources. This makes your role as a trusted advisor even more relevant!
To be successful in 2020, you will need to be skilled at changing the way consumers think and figure out where their knowledge is faulty so you can set the record straight.
Ask Good Questions
Asking good questions already sets top salespeople apart. However, it will be the common denominator for all salespeople in the future.
But guess what a case studies and online research can’t do? Asking the relevant questions to discover a buyer’s need. Upon learning their unique challenge, you can help them overcome it. You will thrive in 2020 and beyond if you can provide this to prospects.
“Combining experience and intuition with data is the best mix. Without good judgment, the data may mislead you.” Glenn Donovan, founder of Sales Coach for Startups
Do you let your gut guide your decisions? Or do you use your instincts and data-backed insights? If you chose the second option, you’re well-prepared for the future.
A lot of sales representatives already have access to information they can use to prioritize their selling efforts and identify the most qualified leads. By 2020, it’s likely everyone will have this data. Still, having data and leveraging it aren’t the same thing. You’ll need to understand the story it’s telling, from which sales activities are working and which are less effective down to the product features a specific prospect will need most.
For more sales assistance that will arm you for success in 2020 and beyond,
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