Why Sales People Are Becoming Irrelevant
•market intelligence •sales practices •industry perspective •Wholesale Distribution IndustryThursday, July 31, 2014—There's a reason why it's getting harder and harder for salespeople to get in to see major accounts. It's because the Buyers (nee "Supply Chain Managers") are now speaking a different language, and the sales force hasn't kept up.
Let me explain.
Over the last decade or so, companies have come to realize that managing logistical costs is the next big opportunity for profitability. The newly-minted "Supply Chain Managers" are focused on reducing or eliminating unnecessary interactions with their suppliers – that's us. It's what they're now working on, and it's what they now want to talk about. If we're not knowledgeable and interested in this, we're pretty much persona non grata in their offices.
In addition, they no longer need us for the product knowledge we've studied and perfected because, in the age of Google, they can find out anything they want to know without our help. (I know – there are certain, specialized areas where this is not true – yet, but it's coming in those areas, too.)
For both these reasons, it's harder than ever to get into see accounts.
If we're still training on product information, and that's all we can talk about, we're irrelevant to the day-to-day priorities of the people on the other side.
Now, if you discovered that all of your customer were learning Swahili, and were hiring Swahili-speaking people to interact with their vendors, what would you do?
Wouldn't you be learning Swahili yourself?
We all need to learn "supply chain" and "logistics" so we can once again assist our customers with the things they're most interested in, and are actively working on. As long as we can contribute to our customers' priorities, we'll always be relevant and welcomed.
A change in market dynamics always presents great opportunity. Those that recognize the change and act first always beat those that don't. Let's use this for competitive advantage.
Time to brush up on Swahili, and leave your competition in the dust.
For more information about Randy MacLean, visit: www.waypointanalytics.net
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