Sales models: processes, tools and skills of the future.

Sales models are constantly evolving and for this very reason companies must have strong adaptability, innovation and a good dose of dynamism and propensity for change. As we already know, the pandemic has caused the digitization process to accelerate in every context and business environment, especially in that of sales. Precisely in this field, models capable of reconciling the traditional physical approach with the virtual one have been strengthened. However, the hybrid sales strategy is destined to remain: it will be the dominant B2B sales strategy by 2024. Alessandro Bodo, Founder & CEO of Cloudnova, and Elisa Pellizzaro Marketing Manager of OpenSymbol, illustrate their ideas on the future of sales models .

The future of sales models

Digitization has therefore changed sales models that will be enriched by the opportunities that digital transformation is able to offer, without however abandoning face-to-face meetings, which will always have a primary role in the sales sector. In order for the union between traditional and virtual approaches to be successful, a number of changes are required that must be implemented at the company level. “First and foremost, selling is a science. So, to be successful, it needs well-defined, structured and clear processes. To adapt to hybrid selling, these processes need to change with new and innovative components being incorporated into the journey. Together with them, the systems and tools available will also change, as will the skills” he explains Alessandro Bodo, Founder & CEO of Cloudnova.

Sales models: processes, tools and skills of the future

The new hybrid approach has consequences on the roles of the resources that make up the process itself. If on the one hand the simplified access to information, enabled by the digital transformation, makes buyers more prepared, sellers too find themselves perfecting their skills towards an increasingly consultative model, in which the relationship between the parties evolves, personalizing each meeting, from the very first contact stages to post-sales and loyalty.

In this context that alternates face-to-face meetings with virtual contacts, the technical skills of the sales manager, now taken for granted, are combined with a series of essential soft skills and emotional and social intelligence components. In short, a model that can be summed up well in the words of Elisa Pellizzaro, Marketing Manager and CRM, Customer Experience and Digital Marketing Automation specialist of OpenSymbol: “The seller who becomes a consultant no longer offers a product or service that solves a problem for the customer today, but supports him and anticipates him so that none arise in the future.”

Sales models: processes, tools and skills of the future

Listening to the customer is essential

The path towards an increasingly consultative approach also requires that the skills of the sales team go in the direction of listening to the customer, making a sale based on value (value selling). If face-to-face meetings are reduced, it is necessary to be extremely reactive and rigorous in proposing solutions: fewer handshakes also mean less chance of establishing a relationship of trust with the customer. In this, a scientific approach, as Bodo recalled, can contribute to the success of the sale because it accompanies the salesperson through well-defined processes.

From here we move on to the importance of the tools that are placed in the hands of the sales team and to the general development of greater sensitivity at the company level in supporting them. Let’s think, for example, of the customer qualification methodologies (qualification framework) that support sales managers in carefully defining the counterparty with whom to relate, whether lead or user already acquired and to be retained. On the one hand, this helps the salesperson to do his job well, and on the other, the customer to feel understood and guided. Today it is essential to speak a common language and guarantee a deeper alignment of information and objectives, certainly more difficult to achieve in a more remote context.

Sales models: processes, tools and skills of the future

The value of data

The importance of data value therefore comes naturally. Having the right information at the right time is a prerequisite for a successful sale. And this is exactly where technology comes into play. Tools such as CRM acquire a role of primary importance, helping companies to digitize processes, managing, analyzing and optimizing interactions with customers and prospects with the aim of realizing the best shopping experience. Thanks to CRM, customer data and the relationships that exist are centralized in a single platform, to transform them into useful and strategic information both externally, to optimize the customer experience, and internally, to improve the customer experience. sales team.