How often have we heard the phrase, “Tried and True”? This phrase is a throwback from the past designed to build our confidence around, “It has always worked, so keep doing it”.
Today, nothing can be further from the truth. I watch sales organizations, desperate to increase revenue, turn to the dated wisdom from the past to teach, train and manage today’s sales force. Those business development techniques might have worked in the past, but they just don’t work anymore.
The reason why a trip down memory lane is so ineffective today and will never get you to your destination of effective selling is right in front of us.
Buyers have changed and so have your sales personal. We are now living in a world where Millennials are the largest single group in our work force. By the year 2020, Millennials will represent nearly half of all workers.
Millennials seek, receive and process information differently than their parents or grandparents do. They are much more collaborative in their decision process and are apt to continue interactions well after the normal work day. Millennials are eager to pick their projects and professions based on their passion rather than financial motivation alone. This fuels the engine of innovation and a strong desire to make a difference in their dedicated beliefs.
This explains why, when we take a page out from the old sales playbook of cold calling, stock presentations, self-interest pitches, and information dumping, it is met by the Millennial buyer as a deletable event. Also, how about your Millennial sales rep? They will just not accept using the techniques of yesteryear to sell to an audience of their peers.
Here lies the dilemma. Why continue to teach and train a salesforce, that will reject an outdated message, with the hope that they might be force-managed to use it on a Millennial buyer that will reject it. Yet, we still do this on a regular basis by jumping at that next CRM ear-pulling program to try and muscle both buyer and sellers into the past.
At this point you might be asking, “What are the more successful business development organizations doing to change with the times? First, they are gaining a true understanding of Millennials. The very capable group of Millennials, not only hold the keys to business development success, but are having a huge impact on influencing Gen Y, X and Baby Boomers. Sales organizations that have broken the code have reexamined their sales strategies and selling techniques to ensure they are congruent with the buyers and sellers of today. They label it “Selling in the Now”. At great expense, many sales organizations have come to the realization that although they have, “Tried” the old way, it just isn’t “True” anymore. Learn how to help your organization make the shift.
Author: Rich Lucia