August 15, 2017

#541. How the Sales Process is Evolving. With David J.P. “DFish” Fisher.

David JP “DFish” Fisher, keynote speaker, and author of Hyper-Connected Selling: Winning More Business by Leveraging Digital Influence and Creating Human Connection, joins me for the second time on this episode of #Accelerate!

KEY TAKEAWAYS

[3:03] David says the single biggest challenge that sales professionals face today is that sales is fundamentally changing from what it was the last 30 years. Buyers are changing how they buy.

[4:37] David talks about the sales sherpa. Salespeople will find success in becoming a guide for the buyer (who is already on their own journey), to help them make better decisions.

[6:12] David discusses whether today’s buyer is overwhelmed by all the information available, or is enabled by it. It depends on the complexity of the product or service for sale.

[8:51] Buying an airplane ticket is easier for buyers to do, compared to pre-internet days. But having access to more data doesn’t always mean making better decisions. Reps can help the customer understand what the data means for them.

[11:02] In heavily transactional products there will be a greater role for machine learning and AI. In certain market segments, a person still has to talk to a person. There is a very human need to connect, trust, and empathize.

[12:16] Sales professionals cannot force buyers into a linear sales process. In some SaaS markets, the process is in service to the seller, and it attempts to limit the buyer. Technology should be a tool to help the seller engage with the buyer.

[15:43] Technology can help salespeople develop more, better, and stronger relationships with buyers. Social media helps develop a network of light connections. CRM can organize sales meeting notes for a better relationship.

[18:47] Technology increases the perception of complexity, but Andy cites the simplicity of online ordering, compared to the agrarian society. We created the complexity. It’s relative. Don’t make it harder.

[23:22] Life is hard, deciding what to stream at night! It’s no harder today to connect with buyers. It was always hard; it’s just different. We are in a time of evolution. Solutions from 20 years ago are not working as well, today.

[25:48] People were better at building relationships when Andy started. The ‘old-timers’ knew everything about the prospect and about the prospect’s business. It’s easy to be an industry expert, but it’s hard work to engage the buyer.

[27:43] David addresses the hybridization of sales. Linear sales will go to technology. Long-scale sales will continue to be in the realm of highly-skilled salespeople. In between there will be hybrid sales, such as selling a home. Sales reps will consult.

[31:22] More than ever, people in sales need to look at what’s coming, and keep developing themselves in all the fundamental sales habits. The future is coming. David cites a recent article he wrote on engaging and building trust.