New technologies mean that the marketplace is constantly shifting, and an ever-evolving market will require your sales team to adapt quickly to keep up. Innovations are designed to make lives easier and workflows more efficient, but change is often met with resistance. The truth is that intellectually lazy salespeople will be left behind, as will sales leaders who aren't driven to provide their team the tools to adapt and grow with the changing marketplace.
Here are 3 ways the market is changing, and how to coach your sales team to adapt.
Change #1: Increasing Commoditization
In today’s crowded marketplace, price is becoming an increasingly dominant factor in a buyer’s purchasing process. A company is no longer limited to their geographical region, and when there are unlimited options available, competing against lower-priced competition becomes more challenging than ever.
You must be sure that your sales reps are truly and deeply convinced that what they are selling is not a commodity. The value of your product is what will set it apart from lower-priced competition, and you must coach your sales team to position your product as uniquely valuable to every prospect they encounter. That starts with their authentic belief in the value of what it is they sell.
Change #2: Evolving Product Lines
The fast-paced and innovative world that we live in requires organizations to be aware of the evolving needs of their customer base, and these changes need to be reflected in the products that they offer. It’s crucial that your salespeople know your current product lines inside and out, but having the willingness and positive attitude toward learning to sell new products is a skill that your sales team will also need to master.
Every member of your sales team must be willing and able to evolve with changing product lines. Resistance to change is common, but it is important to differentiate between “I can’t” attitudes and “I won’t.” Coach your sales team to use the transition as an opportunity to reinvent and keep up with the changes their buyers will be looking for. Senior reps who have sold the same thing for a long time will likely be the most resistant to change—so thorough training is necessary—as well as, establishing expectations.
Change #3: New Ways to Interact with Clients
Online communication has not only changed the way people exchange information, but also the ways in which they buy the things they need. Buyers are more educated and sophisticated than ever, and the way your sales team interacts with potential customers must evolve to keep up. Social selling through networks like LinkedIn allows salespeople to get in touch with individuals that they may have never had access to in the past. Passive ways of contacting clients have been replaced with more interactive methods.
Similar to changing product lines, your sales team might display resistance to incorporating new techniques into their client interactions—especially when they involve learning a new technology. It’s important that you coach your sales team on how to use these tools, and set expectations for which they will be held accountable. Schedule update meetings to discuss how your team members have successfully been using the technology and always look for ways to improve.
Change is a good thing, as long as your sales team is well equipped to adapt to it.
Discover more on the newest trends in technology and customer acquisition from industry thought leaders at this year’s Sales Leadership Summit in Chicago.
Published on May 20, 2015