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Sales organisations in B2B markets are faced with various trends which are shaping their selling approach a lot.
Based on a tremendous increase of digital information, buying organisations do have access to information about markets, products and solutions from all over the world. This results in a higher international competition and increasing expectations regarding offerings and the selling approaches from potential suppliers. Buying organisation do have the chance to increase their requirements regarding potential suppliers. This development is a driver for an increasing demand of individual and customized products. Another impact from the digitalisation of customers’ buying processes is reported by Roland Berger Consulting. In 2015, a study investigated that 57% of buying decisions in the B2B area are done before a sales representative from a potential supplier contacts the buying-center for the first time. These developments influence sellers in various ways. One result is an increasing merge of sales and marketing activities in order to ensure a smooth customer journey.
But these market trends also have an influence on the role and the needed competencies of sales representatives.
Especially those representatives of companies which are positioned in the mid- or high price sector of a market cannot rely on transactional selling and a focus on product features and benefits any more. “Telling and Selling” is not enough to survive in such a competitive environment. Representatives have to act as consulter. They have to understand the problems, challenges and requirements from a customer organisation. They have to position themselves as a partner and as an expert in their field of expertise.
The European Sales Competition (ESC) aims to develop such skills and competencies. Participants have to understand the situation and potential problems of the customer and to achieve their target: to convince the customer about the total value of their solution in order to get the deal – or in other words: to win the competition.
(by Johannes Reiterer (2020))
Source: Roland Berger (2015): The digital future of B2B sales, retrieved on 2020.02.11 https://www.rolandberger.com/publications/publication_pdf/roland_berger_tab_digital_future_of_b2b_sales_1.pdf.