In a recent article, Óscar Sánchez, CEO at Kyocera Document Solutions America, put forward some pertinent thoughts on how we as a company should be adapting to the whirlwind of change that the past year has brought.
He notes that the global trend towards digitisation has accelerated far more aggressively than anticipated, due to the increase in remote work as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. What’s more, the pandemic has changed end-user behaviour resulting in a 40% growth in sales of digital goods and services.
I agree with Sánchez in his thinking. We have clearly seen this in retail that, to adapt to demand, distributors have had to show tremendous flexibility. And that is the approach that will allow us to reach very favourable agreements in the future.
As consumers become more educated about what they want, our salespeople need to advance their knowledge to include not only the products and solutions they sell, but also the economy, technologies and market dynamics.
Today the best salespeople are the ones who listen and understand the customer's concerns. That is, they ask the right questions. A 'one size fits all' no longer works. Success is for those who are able to customise solutions that add value to the client's business.
To this, I’d add that to future proof sales, we need to ensure that the right changes are made now and that our offerings and products remain relevant and effective with a low cost of sale.
The companies that will succeed are those that make it a priority to future-proof their sales by embarking on strategies and improvements that place them well ahead of their competitors.
Sales people now need more knowledge and expertise than what potential buyers can find on the internet. They need to be able to demonstrate how a product adds value to the customer’s business, or how it can improve their situation. They need to apply business thinking around the product and understand that their role has shifted to that of an advisor.
As the professional world becomes more open to mixed solutions of work from home and the office, we have an enormous opportunity for growth. It is an exciting prospect to see how we can act now and apply broader thinking to our sales techniques.