Death of the B2B Sales Rep? An Interview with the Sales Enablement Lab
We recently had the pleasure of talking sales enablement with the Sales Enablement Lab and Thierry v. Herwijnen.
Tom Pisello, Alinean's CEO / Founder was interviewed about the recent proclamations on the Death of the B2B Sales Rep, and what his thoughts were on the future of B2B selling and sales enablement.
The original recording can be accessed at: http://www.thierryvanherwijnen.com/s1e9/
According to the research results, Marisa reported that B2B buyers interact with sales reps not just at the end of the process, but at every stage of the buyer's journey.
In fact, the highest level of engagement with sales reps occurred during the education phase of the buyer’s journey, the first decision gate in the purchasing decision process.
These findings directly contradict the findings of CEB and Forrester that b-to-b sales reps’ role and importance are declining due to a disintermediation by B2B marketing and digital resources.
- A significant purchase decision – Your home represents one of the most significant investments you can make. There is high risk if you make the wrong decision (wrong schools, hidden costs or overpay), sell to early / late (as we learned during the bubble), and high reward if you get it right (great capital gains, no worries and awesome lifestyle). Agents are much better today at explaining the risk adjusted ROI, helping to ease the emotional strain and providing financial justification.
- Unique insights – Agents today are much better at knowing the market, especially culling information that is not publicly or easily available. The most successful use these unique insights to teach the buyer, guide the decision making process and provide an edge (eg. Segmented pricing analyses, pocket listings).
- Diagnostic advice – almost like a doctor, today’s better agents are assessing buyer / seller needs: asking the right questions to guide the buy or sell decision making process and generate better outcomes.
- Consensus required – Most real estate transactions involve multiple decision makers on both the buy and sell side. Perhaps the most important role of the agent today is working with couples to gain consensus – easier said than done with so much money and emotion at play. The agent has to get couples on either side of the table on the same page, and then gain agreement quickly between buyers and sellers are the most successful.
- Complex buying process – there are many steps to manage in the listing, search and purchase process. The agent helps shepherd the stakeholders through each step to make sure they are prepared and the transaction goes smoothly through each step of the process.
- Facilitate a complex journey - The buyer’s journey has become so non-linear and complex that it cannot be generalized, and is hard to guide with just on-line content and tools. It's a highly personalized experience, unique to each company and stakeholder, and requires careful and skilled facilitation.
- Survive Frugalnomics - Buyers are indeed more empowered, but they are also more skeptical and frugal, more risk averse and require more proof points to get to “Yes” (Frugalnomics). And although buyers are doing more online research and they are more knowledgeable, the #1 piece of content requested by buyers today is still a sales presentation, according to SiriusDecisions. And rising in importance, an economic focus on ROI and the business case.
- Enable Consensus - With more stakeholders involved in each purchase decision, some 43% more than just 2 years ago, each deal becomes an exercise in consensus building amongst all the stakeholders.
>>> The On-Demand Interview is available here: https://alinean.webex.com/alinean/lsr.php?RCID=bc511f3fd963493d9516a894b41763c1