I’m not referring to Arthur Miller’s 1949 play about Willy Loman’s shattered dreams.
Rather, because of changing buyer behaviour, prospects are less willing to engage with salespeople – which according to a Forrester Research study, will result in “1 million US B2B salespeople losing their jobs to self-service eCommerce by the year 2020.”
Buyers are increasingly using online means to find and research providers of goods and services. The same Forrester study states that organizations must therefore “radically transform their historical sales models to accommodate a real-time and global buying environment where websites, not salespeople, are at the heart of how B2B companies buy and sell.”
It’s critical for businesses to be fixated on the “buying journey” and create value at every step along the way. An article in the Harvard Business Review explains that companies must “manage (buying) journeys as they would any product… Journeys are thus becoming central to the customer’s experience of a brand—and as important as the products themselves in providing competitive advantage.”
Businesses must change the way they think about marketing and sales, and make sure they are aligned with this new reality. As companies become more sophisticated in how they use technology to best serve prospects and customers, this situation will only become more pronounced.
With prospects becoming more dependent on online resources, and less inclined to interact with salespeople, companies of all sizes must rethink their entire approach to business development.
Those that want to survive this major shift must adapt by embracing technology and becoming digitally-driven in their business development efforts.
The sooner you start thinking this way, the less likely you will be left behind by competitors – and lose out on potential sales.
This infographic from SalesforLife, details some of the research about “The Death of a Salesperson”:
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