Selling in 21st Century
By Alen Majer
There has been a revolution in everything in our society except in
sales. The sales industry has crawled while other professions have
been running: "new" sales books are still talking about the same
tips, tricks and techniques that were working in last century and
bringing the success to sales people.
Certainly selling has the look of 20 or 30 years ago, features and
benefits are still the main topic at every sales training, whether
internally done or from an outside trainer, and management is
pushing the same old ideas about cold calling and open-ended
questions, but customers are changing rapidly in their behavior,
buying habits, knowledge about the situation on the market, and most
important - their expectations from sellers.
Selling itself is
changing. Whole business environment is more
dynamic, we have many and breaking new products on the market, and
competition is bigger, harder, and stronger day-by-day. Buyers are
more educated, they are searching for information by themselves, and
they are looking from providers to understand buyer's situation,
needs and business.
Sales cannot continue to resolve twenty-first century situations in
the business world using last-century tips and tricks. Tomorrow's
sales challenges cannot be met using last-century's understandings
and strategies. Those skills and information are not wrong; they are
for today's market. Unless this is acknowledged and the sales
professional admits that he does not know all there is to know about
sales and customers behavior, there can be no hope of continuing
excellence in sales as is.
I believe it is finally the right time for the dinosaurs of sales to
The 21st Century changes
the rules of engagement. New knowledge is needed and
also new set of tools which will include the technology, to help you
in your search for your next customer.
Technology is developing at a pace that rarely anyone can catch up,
and especially the last two decades many trained sales people are
not in the position to utilize the advantages of the technology. In
this regard, the technology can be your friend or foe.
Web 2.0 enables Sales 2.0
and many sales people can take customer
communications into their own hands and to an entirely new level.
Sales reps have more control over the tools that they use, and they
can be always on, answering to customers questions in the matter of
minutes and not hours or days.
are great toolset to help you find new opportunities on the market
for your product or service. With trigger events it will be easier
for you to find companies that have immediate wants and needs. You
are looking for events that can trigger the sales opportunity for
Trigger events can be divided depending where they have been
triggered, inside or outside the company. Therefore we have two
sorts of trigger events:
Internal trigger events
are events triggered inside of the company or
External trigger events
are one that we cannot influence, but we need to adapt to a newly
created situation. It affects the customers’ success and could
change business environment dramatically.
Internal events we can further divide into the two major groups:
positive ones or growth
trigger events, and negative ones or
stagnation trigger events. If it shows the growth of
the company (hiring 20 new sales reps or opening new offices, or new
products have been introduced) we can say we have internal growth
Learning about the trigger events, what they are, where to find and
how to use them, your benefit is that with this newly acquired
knowledge you will be able to qualify prospects faster and find your
next customer much easier than before.
And not just that – you will be able to put customers in the market
who didn’t feel that way before you contacted them. Trigger events
can be a very powerful weapon for sales person who wants to be able
to qualify prospects faster and understand his customers’ situation,
and even identify needs with customers together.
With trigger events you will be better prepared for challenges that
customers are putting in front of us each day. You will be equipped
with a completely new set of tools needed to recognize who could be
(and should be) on the market today for your product or services,
giving you the better understanding where you should focus your
Learning about this new set of tools you will be reminded,
motivated, and pushed to do something more for your sales career and
your sales numbers. A sales person needs to grow, to try to reach
that next goal and to have a life filled with success in his or her
profession, which makes life more worth living.
Read other articles and learn more
about Alen Majer.
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