I attended my second Sales 2.0 Conference last week. It was a great experience. And now it’s time to report.
I’ve finally unburied myself from a week’s worth of snail mail (awkwardly the 1.0 world continued even as I immersed myself in the 2.0 world!) There were many great things about the conference, including a number of great presenters like Bell Mobility's Michael Weening (who talked about Sales transformations) and Jeffrey Hayzlett (who discussed the impact of social media on business).
I was particularly impressed with the facts and figures that researchers revealed. Here are a few: Currently, there are about 18 million salespeople in the US right now. The prediction is that, by 2020, there will be fewer than 3 million.
My question, which remains unanswered, is how many of those are B2B v. B2C? It all goes back to the old argument that sales is going away as a result of technology. That's just not the case. Salespeople capable of helping prospects and customers through a complex decision making process will always be in demand. Anyway, I was also impressed by another report shared at the conference. It showed some factors that impact clients’ decision making:
- 16% Politics
- 23% Chemistry (Rapport)
- 29% Solution and Price
- 32% “They Understand my Business”
What does that mean? That the salespeople who thrive are going to be the ones who take the time to understand how their clients’ businesses work and exactly how (and, frankly, whether) their solutions can make that business work better. Another interesting report was IDC's 2011 Sales Barometer, which showed how salespeople are spending their time. There were a few surprises (at least for me)...
- Direct Customer interaction: 46%
- Admin time (e.g., quotes, pricing, management reporting): 22%
- Preparing for customer or prospect interaction: 17%
- Territory Lead Development: 11%
So, what's the impact? Salespeople spend less than half of their time in belly-to-belly, face-to-face, direct selling! That means there's a lot more to the job than the sales interaction.
With that said, I'm confident sales leaders want to see growth in that piece of the pie.