May 22, 2017
Evolution or Exctinction
As an age-old idea, salespeople often fall within one of two categories. Those who look for something and others who make something. While the hunter-gatherers would historically obtain food by foraging, collecting wild plants, and pursuing wild animals; the farmers focused on agriculture and domesticated animals for survival.
Somewhere along the continuum of time, the corollary with sales emerged. Hunters were the short-term drivers of new business – assertive and independent. Farmers were the relationship builders for repeat business – collaborative and loyal.
Then, the world changed:
- Digital Transformation ripped the information value and power out of the seller’s hands, as customers now have quick access to what they need when they need it. In some cases, up to 70% of the buying cycle is complete before an account executive sees an RFP.
- Anti-Globalization and Nationalism quickly expose ignorance if a deep understanding of the customer’s per-country market position, vision, direction, and priorities is lacking. Issues like data privacy, security, and others are beginning to define the selling environment in countries, stamping out the “one size fits all” of globalization and geo-scalability.
- Business Quantification will bleed out the credibility of a seller if the business value to be provided cannot be quantified. General and qualitative statements of value may be the ticket that gets a seller into the theater, but to get the right seat requires a deep understanding of the customer’s business and the seller’s solutions to estimate financial impact.
The result – the Hunter and Farmer personas are obsolete. The roles have converged. Today’s account executive is multidimensional and deep thinking – a true business developer and value-add provider!
The challenge – evolve or lose business and go extinct!