It’s been apparent among B2B sales teams for years now that their jobs have changed.
Customers that demand more time from reps and more customised solutions, and that resist all suggestion of a different combination of products and services – or “solution” to use the argot – to the one they ask for, because they made up their mind during their “research phase.”
Hundreds of interviews with senior sales managers across different industries and parts of the world showed that this huge slew of demands on sales reps divide into three main categories.
This – and the profusion of information about all these options (see point 1) – creates an expectation that a solution exists to perfectly solve the customer’s specific problem.
As customers demand additional capabilities, more price and margin concessions, and further support from sales and implementation teams, sellers are left with no better option but to provide more support throughout the sales process, flexing to customer needs, and differentiating themselves from competitors by responding to customers promptly (see chart 1).
Chart 1: Supplier responses to more information, people, and options Source: CEB analysis
With all the new burdens these changes in buying behavior are placing on sellers, it should come as no surprise that on a CEB survey of over 1,000 B2B sellers, nearly three quarters of surveyed reps reported that their jobs are highly complex (see chart 2).
Chart 2: “Q: How complex do you think your job is as a seller today?” n=1,010 Source: CEB 2015 Sales Complexity Assessment
Join Salesforce and CEB for a webinar on 10th June to hear CEB’s Nick Toman share how some of the world’s leading companies are changing the sales processes in response to all this complexity.
We have also partnered with Salesforce for 3 great joint events for sales leaders todrive Sales Excellence
A version of this post originally appeared on CEB’s sales and customer service blog.