Over recent years the death of the B2B salesperson has been much lauded – mimicking Arthur Miller’s play ‘Death of a Salesman’ – and how changes in B2B buyer behaviour have sounded the death knell for B2B salespeople.
Yet whilst there have undoubtedly been some changes in the way B2B buyers identify and engage with potential suppliers, good B2B salespeople are more valuable than ever.
It may come as no surprise that much of the noise around the death of the B2B salesperson was made by marketing technology vendors and other would-be marketing solutions disruptors. Clearly, it was in their interests to “educate” the market that the old paradigms of marketing and lead generation would be swept away by automation, AI and technology.
In B2C markets, where businesses have large databases and rich customer data, technology has undoubtedly driven the effectiveness of marketing campaigns.
Yet in B2B markets, particularly for SMEs, marketing technology and automation have been somewhat of a damp squib, because they simply haven’t solved B2B marketers’ biggest challenge – generating new leads.
So where does the humble B2B salesperson fit into modern sales and marketing?
There is no doubt that is it slightly more difficult to generate sales appointments than 10 years ago. Whereas previously Buyers would meet a salesperson to find out about the latest product and service offerings, much of this initial research is now undertaken before agreeing to a sales appointment.
However, this has had a positive impact on lead quality. Coffee calls, brochure drops, meetings with unqualified Buyers “because I’m passing” to make the quota of meetings are now the exception, not the norm.
Fewer leads, but of a higher quality has therefore resulted in businesses needing fewer salespeople.
Yet this reduction in the size of field-based salespeople has enabled businesses to reallocate budget from sales into lead generation, which ensures the remaining salespeople spend their time productively, closing good leads – not burning diesel dropping brochures or covering poorly qualified leads.
With greater information at their fingertips, B2B buyers demand a greater level of knowledge and professionalism from today’s B2B salespeople. They want to understand how your proposition differs from competitors. This stacks the odds in the favour of top-performing salespeople who are genuinely able to demonstrate value-add to prospects, making the gap between the best vs. average salespeople even greater.
So, the future for the best performing B2B salespeople has never looked brighter.
And by fuelling the top-performing B2B salespeople with better-qualified leads through greater investment in lead generation, companies are still able to achieve the same level of sales with fewer salespeople.
If you’re a B2B business that is looking to drive sales revenue and create more sales-ready leads that your top-performing salespeople can convert to customers, why not talk to Beanstalk?
We have a wealth of experience in professional B2B lead generation and lead nurturing across a range of B2B sectors, including yours. Call us today on 0345 474 2047 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.