In the '70s and '80s, the market was far from saturated, so it had the ability to absorb quite literally any product and almost any idea a company could come up with.
Fast forwarding to today, the market clearly stands in a completely different position: offer overcomes demand on any front and there's a certain phenomenon called hypersaturation that seems to quite enjoy the stay, so it's sticking around.
This is producing a few straightforward side-effects that are very significant for the global economy:
Well, it means one main thing:
Selling in the 70's was a completely different thing than what it is today. And when we say completely different, we mean it.
The sales process used to be rather linear and could be performed with relatively little effort, because the market was certainly going to take in the product: it was merely a matter of time and persistence.
Of course, there was a sales team completely dedicated to selling full time and sometimes this team would even undergo a strict training to maximise performance.
However, sales did not need to be managed any differently than that: the official sales team was more than enough for its own role.
Nowadays, the scenario is looking diametrically opposite: the world has changed so much over the years and the concept of sales team has (or should have) evolved accordingly.
Sales Directors, Sales Managers and Sales Reps are still key to the function, but they're no longer the only players in the field.
Inside an overcrowded, busy and rich market, differentiation and total customer orientation become powerful keys to success and to business sustainability over time.
Quite like when human kind was faced with heliocentrism, the new economy phase is pushing us towards a very different path than the one we were used to, and any tentative to remain attached to old systems represents a great obsolescence risk for the business.
Customers are no longer ready to be ethernally loyal to your company as a result of a well made sales pitch. Today's customers may be intrigued by a great pitch, but they only choose to try you after they've been clearly faced with the value they are going to get, and they only choose to stay after they have been satisfied and possibly amazed not only by the product or service they have purchased, but by the overall experience they had with your company.
Experience is the new value, and this kind of value is not easily exchanged through a simple economic transaction; it requires a collaborative performance that involves every single company function, at every level.
The key question is: who's in charge of creating an excellent experience for the customers?
And the key answer is: the company as a whole.
There's no such thing as a team, in the customer's mind. The only thing that customers perceive is how well you are able to make them feel from the moment they get in touch with you to the moment they look back and say hey, I've been using this products for years and it's still going strong.
That time span is kind of a long one and in order to be able to keep satisfaction level as high as it possibly can be, it is essential that you create a company culture that promotes sale synergy among all the functions.
Each and every person who works inside the company needs to be aware that they do cover – no matter how indirectly – a sales role.
In fact, since the modern customer does not simply look out to buy a product or service anymore, but seeks the experience that goes along with the purchase, every person no matter the job title should take part into it.
Business is an extremely dynamic creature.
You shouldn't be surprised to see it changing its rules, because changing often means a chance to stay up to date with the market and with the great outside world.
The sales function often acts as a sentinell, advising everyone that a change is on the horizon, and it also acts as the early adopter of all the new habits that this change implies.
Understanding that most of the job titles inside your company nowadays hide some sort of impact on your company sales is an essential new step to take, which goes along with admitting that sales team can no longer do sales alone.
If you want to really increase your sales, don't just improve your sales team, don't just make it bigger and wiser; also make sure that you create a company culture where everyone is aware that the company success when it comes to sales relies on them. On all of them.
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