There is a revolution happening in the world of sales technology. Venture capitalists invested $1.4 Billion dollars in startups focused on sales productivity and enablement from 2013-2015, and the new technologies coming out of these companies has forever changed the way selling is done. According to research by High Spot, 55% of sales professionals said their budget for Sales Tech increased this year. The sales technology revolution is here, there will be winners and there will be losers.
Why is this happening now?
The buyer has changed. It took a while for the mindset of the business decision maker to catch up to the mindset of the average tech consumer, but it is finally happening. We now live in a world of tweets not four hour rounds of golf, and sales organizations need to be flexible enough to create a buying experience that fits the expectations of a new buyer.
Today a buyer 1) works in smaller fragments of time, 2) does most of their research online, and 3) is very comfortable working remotely according to Nick Hedges. These changes have created an opening for a new, more efficient and more effective, sales strategy that has swept across the fastest growing companies in Silicon Valley.
A new type of buyer has enabled a new more efficient sales strategy.
Silicon Valley has led two big shifts in sales strategy.
First, there has been a shift in the mix of the sales organization. Traditionally outside salespeople owned most of the sales process and were supported by an inside sales team, today more and more of the buyer’s journey has been shifted to the inside sales team and many companies sell exclusively with an inside team. A study at the University of Southern California found that 46 percent of sales leaders reported shifting resources from outside sales to inside sales last year.
Second, most companies now invest heavily in content and make customer reviews readily available. Many of the questions a buyer has are answered by content during a more extensive research period. “Today’s B2B buyers are often more than halfway through the purchasing cycle before engaging with sellers” according to Scott Gillum.
A new type of buyer + new sales strategies = a sales technology revolution
What this means is that the potential of a single salesperson has grown tremendously. Salespeople are no longer limited by their ability to get to and attend in-person meetings. With the right technology you could have 10 new demos and move along 40 other deals in a short 9to5 day. Now that a single person can handle more and more deals all sorts of other issues have arisen, like how to manage the increased deal flow, how to integrate automation, how to continue to deliver a personalized buying experience and many other challenges.
Companies are investing in technology to solve these problems because the return is tremendous. When reps are doubling and tripling their pipeline the software costs are trivial.
When there are winners there will be…
The corollary to the success many companies are seeing is that companies that don’t adapt will start to lose out more and more.
According to Andre Borque, “in today’s highly competitive markets, companies that do not invest in the advancements brought about by sales acceleration platforms risk jeopardizing the following benefits:
- Shortening the sales cycle
- Identifying and orchestrating the best contact strategy across the entire sales organization
- Speeding up ramp time for new sales reps
- Boosting revenue”
The buyer has changed, the playbook has changed and technology has greatly accelerated the potential of your sales team.