What Does a Modern Sales Rep Look Like?
Modern technology is changing very fast. Companies will have to adapt to these changes or they will be out of the market very soon.
We all know the infamous story of how Nokia and Blackberry went off the market as they were unable to adapt to the new changes.
But this is the story long back. Now in 2020, not only the companies need to adapt, but also their sales professionals too. If they do not see this change coming and still want to follow the old school techniques, it would not surprise us when these companies go dark.
Before we jump on to the next section, let’s understand why we need to talk about the future?
Why do we need a change so quickly?
The current buyer journey and the sales cycle have changed a lot. Though they were not a clean funnel ever, the change is rapid and we can see that. If we take a look at the current day scenario, there is plenty of information available in the market.
It is in the form of blogs, case studies, video tutorials, white paper, etc.
Since the content is flooded, customers have a choice of self-learning about the product through videos, free demos, and available content, so the role of a sales professional is changed.
Now the traditional buyer journey is different since the engagement with the sales team comes quite late into the picture. Sales professionals have started using the practices of Cold Calling 2.0, social selling, account-based marketing, lean selling, lead scoring, etc to see what works for them. But in this process, we have always kept the company in mind.
At the same time, the modern sales rep should keep in mind the customer first and then the company. Now let’s talk about the characteristics that these modern sales rep will have.
Characteristics Of Modern Sales Rep
1. Data Dependent
There is plenty of data that is available to us. But having a robust system to actually utilize that data, the numbers will just be scrolling. When we use the human capacity along with the data, we get the complete picture of what the customers and prospects expect.
The inside sales teams have chunks of data that have been under the dust for years but never has it been utilized to its potential.
The combination of data and human predictions, will give a better understanding of the customer. Now once you have the customer understanding you can provide them the solution as per their requirement. This will build more trust between sales reps and users, make it better for the reps to close deals.
As we understand data, sales reps should start using it as a way to crush exactly what prospects want.
In this way, the modern sales rep should be focussed and data-dependent.
2. Being Tech Savvy
The modern sales rep should be tech-savvy. It does not mean that we ask them to take the laptop and start writing codes. The idea here is to be technical. When you get the sales rep on board, you ask them to understand the product from the customer view.
But at the same time, it is very important for the modern sales rep to know the technicalities of the product. The customer already has knowledge of the features and pricing. They already have read your blogs and watched the videos.
For the reps to go to the next level, they should be ready with the technical answers that customers shoot at them. They need to prioritize their technical expertise as being completely clueless beyond the sales is not an option anymore for them.
The customers do not want to see what they already have known. They want to see what they do not know.
3. Combination of different roles
If we go back a couple of years back, in the sales funnels and sales cycles, the responsibilities of the teams were clear. The marketing team would identify and bring these qualified prospects while the sales teams would engage in relationships building with them with the hope that they will make their purchase and thus the deal will be closed.
Now the tables have turned, the modern sales rep now will find new markets and create a pipeline. The growth marketers will be helping in sales strategies. Since the role is changing with each team and member, making relationships across different departments and listening to customer insights from other perspectives will give sales reps an edge.
There could be n number of ways that the prospect can now interact with your company. It has nothing to with the roles that are assigned to you.
Say, a customer success person could be in a position to make a sale or move a prospect further along. A content marketer can chat with a potential prospect on LinkedIn and Twitter once the blog is published.
So it would not be wrong to say that the modern sales rep needs to adopt a combination of roles.
4. Stop being a machine
Even today when you talk to the sales rep before buying the product, they ask the same questions that have been asked year after year. The same sales pitch is being used. Since technology and data have made our world so crowded, we rely heavily on sources like review sites, advice from friends, etc before making a purchase.
As we notice here, there is no intervention of humans in the entire process. A modern sales rep who wants to stand apart, can cut chase through these noises and can use the combination of data and human prediction to help customers buy. This will definitely make the sales rep look like a human and interacting with them will not feel like you are banging heads to a machine.
5. Adapt to changes quickly.
Look how the year 2020 has passed quickly. The global crisis of COVID-19 has made teams and companies go remote very quickly. Not every organization was ready to take their entire sales team remotely because field sales is still a huge thing
Since the sales teams were not ready for this sudden change, it has affected the sales. The sales rep has no idea of remote selling. The entire concept of how to showcase and present your product virtually was not known earlier and sales reps now find it difficult.
In this way, the competitors take great advantage of the situation and their business will scale easily. So a modern sales rep should not only have the above skills but it is very important for them to adapt to the changes quickly.
6. Social Selling
Organizations should hire sales reps that are good at social selling. They should know how to bring your company’s presence online as the majority of buyers use social media platforms for learning about businesses before making their buying decisions.
If your modern sales reps are good at social selling, they will be able to understand how consumers behave on these platforms. This way your sales team can reach a better number of consumers.
In today’s sales process, modern selling is a basic requirement that every sales organization wants to engage. Implementing these modern sales techniques will result in productive sales conversations that can quickly fill your sales pipeline. The Modern day sales rep is a combination of all things that the company is too busy to do themselves in order to attract customers. For some of us the “Modern Day Sales Reps,” have evolved into intellectuals with all the skills required to succeed in today’s modern day environment.