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Evolution and innovation are an inevitable part of any environment. This is true for any business settings. The components involved in a sales process are changing. These changes are changing dynamics between a customer and seller and even the way a company views its competition, product and service. An ideal sales representative will understand and monitor these changes and develop an appropriate sales strategy. Given below are the major changes in the sales environment:
1. Unlimited access to information
Before the advent of internet, only the sales representatives had information regarding their products. They kept the data sheets, reference information and price list. Now, the unrivalled power of the Web has quickly turned the table for the consumers. Buyers can easily get the required information online not only from the seller but from other buyers and third parties. The power of negotiation has shifted and consumers are armed with the needed information even before they meet the sales representative.
2. Influence of Social Media
Many businessmen quickly dismiss social media as a medium of entertainment. This is a far cry from reality. It is a tool for communication, information and collaboration. It can also be easily assimilated into the sales process. Online platforms like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, LinkedIn and various blogs are used for marketing purposes. It serves as a link between the company and the consumer. Many consumers often review the products and rate them which can ultimately affect your customer base.
3. Influence of Technology
Technology has not only improved the socializing platforms but has even affected business. There are various tools and applications available to a sales representative to improve the sales process. Cloud Computing, Internet, CRM applications and other mobile applications has shortened the sales cycle, improved connection with customers and simplified data storage and accessibility. Technology is touching every facet of the sales process and making the process more competent and operative than ever before.
4. Different decision makers
Another trend noticed in the present era is the way how buyers make their decisions. It has been long believed that an “economic decision maker”, that is, a single individual holds the ultimate responsibility for the decision to buy. But in the current age there are various committees where multiple layers of approval are needed to finally close the deal. This has significantly increased the average length of sales cycle in the last decade. An efficient sales representative will take this process into consideration and build a strategy is has the support of all the major stakeholders.
5. Current Lifestyle
Technology has made man’s life fast and busy. Therefore, a simple solution or regular means of communication will not grab the attention of the customer. Sales representatives must be creative and hardworking to survive in a fast environment. There is also a shift from personal relationships to a more objective and formal relationship between the buyer and seller. Consecutively, sales process has become more complex.
As said by William Pollard, “Without change there is no innovation, creativity, or incentive for improvement.” To remain constant in an ever-changing world will put an end to the development of your business. Age old methods and tools are no longer efficient is a technologically driven world.