What caused the extinction of dinosaurs?
Geological evidence indicates that dinosaurs became extinct at the boundary between the Cretaceous and Paleogene eras, about 66 million years ago, at a time when there was worldwide environmental change resulting from the impact of a large celestial object with the Earth and/or from vast volcanic eruptions.
What caused the extinction of the Salesasaurus Rex?
Buyers’ evidence suggests that the Salesaurus Rex became extinct at the boundary between the digital revolution and COVID 19 eras. With a distinct bounce in the 1990s due to the advent of the Web. Digitisation has changed the way we work, shop, bank, travel, educate, govern, manage our health, and enjoy life.
But the Salesasaurus Rex refused to believe this evolution would permeate their safe sales world, but three lockdowns later….buyers’ expectations and habits have changed forever.
Business owners have realised that they need to set a sales force up for success by embracing the role that a modern sales approach plays in their buyer buying journey.
We shared some thoughts on this back in June last year in an article called Face To Face Selling Is Dead!
The Salesasaurus is therefore now officially extinct.
Looking at a McKinsey article from October ’19 the evidence seems clear, with more than three-quarters of buyers and sellers saying they now prefer digital, self-serve and remote human engagement over face-to-face interactions.
I can only imagine this becoming even more engrained as we have just entered our third lockdown in the UK.
So much of this is driven by self-serve and convenience.
Your buyers now expect to be able to get the information you once held close to your chest or should I say in your pilots’ case (along with your brochures and catalogs).
Interestingly, but not surprisingly only 20% of B2B buyers want to face to face.
This is nothing new though is it?
I say not surprisingly because I’ve seen this desire to remove the sales professional intensify over the years. With tenders, reverse auctions, e-portals etc.
Buyers have been searching for a way to reduce reliance on the seller because they see you as an unnecessary cost. They have now been placed in an environment where you can not perform your “traditional” role.
You are having to work remotely, digitally, recognise your buyers’ preferences and understand how they buy.
For some sellers this has been a moment in time that has to led to a realisation that if they are to adapt, they need to understand better and embrace a blended modern and traditional sales approach.
Let me give you hope, you can adapt but you must quickly embrace change and focus on insight vs information to make the most of this opportunity.
Before we move on and consider the changes in buyers behaviour and preferences let me give you that hope I talked about.
Birds are the only dinosaurs left. That might seem strange. A pigeon or a penguin doesn’t look much like a Tyrannosaurus. But the connection is still there, all the way down to the bone. About 150 million years ago, in the Jurassic, the first birds evolved from small, feathery, raptor-like dinosaurs, becoming another branch on the dinosaur family tree. For more than 80 million years, birds of all sorts flourished, from loon-like swimmers with teeth to beaked birds that carried streamer-like feathers as they flew.
I encourage you to think about how your buying habits have changed.
When was the last time you needed to go to the store to purchase? How much of your recent Christmas was purchased digitally.
Did you feel the experience any less optimal or effective?
This is because our B2B and B2C behaviours have never been closer. I mean do you think that your B2B buyer has a whole different person or profile when it comes to work?
Take a look at our thoughts in The Power Of The Three Re’s
Your buyer doesn’t leave his B2C world at home.
The answer is no. The purchasing approach from B2B and B2C is blended just as a modern and traditional approach to sales needs to be.
Sadly accelerated by the environment we are all faced with right now.
The time is to step up, not step down and shrink into the background. Be that Leading Voice and add value. It’s the only way to work your way through this and become one of the “birds”.
A little more from McKinsey
Customers are buying big online
The most notable sign that digital sales have come of age is the comfort B2B buyers display in making large new purchases and reorders online.
The prevailing wisdom used to be that e-commerce was mainly for smaller-ticket items and fast-moving parts.
Not so anymore.
Notably, 70 percent of B2B decision-makers say they are open to making new, fully self-serve, or remote purchases in excess of $50,000, and 27 percent would spend more than $500,000.
Two breakout stars: Video and live chat
With the massive shift to digital resulting from COVID-19, video and live chat have emerged as the predominant channels for interacting and closing sales with B2B customers, while in-person meetings and related sales activities have dropped precipitously.
The future is digital—and optimistic
According to survey respondents, these pandemic-induced patterns are likely to become permanent. Close to nine in ten decision makers say that new commercial and go-to-market sales practices will be a fixture throughout 2021 and possibly beyond.
So this is an opportunity, isn’t it?
Let’s not dodge the “elephant in the room” this dramatic increase in digital adoption presents an opportunity for B2B organisations and its sales professional.
The shift to virtual sales can help sales organisations lower their cost per visit, extend their reach, and significantly improve sales effectiveness .
With the tangible upside of delighting customers who are demanding these new ways of doing business.
The single biggest challenge
The biggest challenge, as always, comes down to the behaviours, habits and openness of the business owners, business leaders and our friends the Salesasaurus Rex.
Because, you have to invest in more digitalisation, a better understanding of how your buyer buys and invest in helping your sales team adapt to the opportunity that is starting to become evident.
Well if we listen to our customers and buyers and haven’t become extinct by then that is!