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Thursday, January 05, 2012

Here's an interesting question to consider: "Where does the B2B sales model go from here?"

And, whilst I wonder whether the sales model example quoted in the article is really so different from other technology companies who sell through channel, it's still a good question to ask.

Without doubt, the traditional "sales force" has changed over the last 10 years.

The other day I dusted off an old classic book on the sales force written back in 2001 and was amazed how out of date it was.

No mention of e-commerce, inside sales, web-demos or conference calls.

No search. No social media.

It seemed as far removed from today as when I was a young gun laughing at the old sales pros  talking about the 2p's they kept in their Ford Granada's so they could call the office from a phone box once a day.

But, back to the question: "Where do we go from here".

For companies that are looking to increase revenue growth it's always useful to break down their business model and understand where is can be improved.

If you have a traditional B2B "direct" sales model, you can look at different channels, such as e-commerce or inside sales to improve efficiency. Pushing repeat orders through these channels enables you to reduce expensive field sales resource.

In addition, re-thinking the sales process can reduce costs through using technology to increase the effectiveness of your sales team which, in turn, increases profitability.

As the article points out, you can also consider developing indirect channels to drive revenue.

Selling through partners, distributors and resellers are options that may be better suited to some of your products and services than others.

Sometimes it takes a new product/service proposition to open up revenue opportunities through different channels. An example would be a training provider that has a direct B2B sales model for it's in-house courses but now delivers e-learning solutions. The lower price point of e-learning may require a change in the sales model and could be more suited to an indirect sales channel.

The theme here is "change".

As the article points out, "the percentage of reps making quota has been stuck in the fifties (percentile range) for years" and the average Sales Director tenure is "as low as 19 months".

Either it's the people that are no good or something else needs to change to hit the numbers.

Sure, it could be a skills development issue. Or maybe improving the sales process. Or maybe the market's moved on and you're still trying the sell the way you always did.

Ah, wouldn't it be great if the worst problem you had in sales was where to find a phone box?

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Posted by: David Regler @ 4:17 pm |   | Links to this post  

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  1. Feedback At 11:33 am ~ Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Great idea,will be lot useful for now.I hope more people discover your blog because you really know what you're talking about. Can't wait to read more from you!

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