November 7th 2007

Some of the reasons that selling is harder today – Saman Haqqi on The Era of Sales 2.0

November 06, 2007Sales is harder

Saman Haqqi, Vice President of Marketing at Landslide, presented a compelling workshop about The Era of Sales 2.0: New Tools and Workstyles to Supercharge your Sales Performance.

Saman began by setting the stage with the changes that have happened in the selling environment over the last five years:

  • distributed teams
  • brief product training
  • limited face-to-face time with corporate office
  • online selling via web – limited face-to-face time with buyers

Additionally, buying behavior has shifted:

  • buying cycle begins long before sales cycle
  • buyers always online, never available
  • buyers are well informed
  • they don’t want features presentations, they want problem solutions

These changes have affected sales performance; lowering the percentage of reps who meet quota to 57%, increasing the number of calls it takes to close a sale, and increasing the percentages of deals lost (30.3%) and no-decision deals (21.3%). Additionally, the ramp time for new sales reps has extended beyond a year for 27.8%.

But, there’s hope. Saman explained that Sales 2.0 includes tools that help salespeople prepare, interact, engage and close customers while remotely following a company’s best selling process. These tools enable two-way conversation, not just enabling the download of content, but encouraging the upload of content from customer to company.

Sales 2.0 is the transition from chaos to process-based selling. More feet on the street won’t help get us there. She says that sales needs to be thought about almost as an assembly line – a consistent and repeatable process. If everyone does their own thing, then outcomes aren’t predictable and sales will stall.

One of the more interesting things Saman shared was that they have taken C players, given them sales training and seen them performing at 70% to 80% of A player level after one year. Prior to this program, the C players would have been at 30% of their A player counterparts. Given turnover and the difficulty in finding great salespeople, this should give companies hope that if they get their process tuned, they too can multiply their results.

The critical factor is that products and selling environments are getting more difficult. Complexity increases the need for performance improvement.

Sales process is not a one-size-fits-all process. It needs to be constructed in a way that’s adaptable as each deal is different.

One of the processes that needs to be embraced is the streamlined funnel. Better results will be derived if the focus is on interested leads, not all leads. Spending time on unqualified leads can waste your efforts.

Saman stated that marketing needs to become relevant to sales.

We could not agree more at Rocket Builders.

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One Response to: “Some of the reasons that selling is harder today – Saman Haqqi on The Era of Sales 2.0”

  1. Reg,

    Just saw your entry as I get google alerts on Face to Face and read Ms. Saman’s comments. IF two of the issues are face to face time with corporate and with clients, the solutions offered should reflect that.
    No question that training sales personnel is crucial and there should be followup interaction available via technology. If that “streamlined funnel” of Sales 2.0 that she mentions, includes face to face real time with customers, the well-trained sales person has the opportunity to engage, connect and interact and stands a better chance to close the sale and exceed their goals. If not, the funnel could well fizzle.

    Susan RoAne said on 08 Nov 2007 at 8:54 am #

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