B2B Selling is Dead. Kaput. Gone.

Selling is something that you did when you knew more than the customer

Those days are gone forever.  Customers know a LOT and need a sales pitch like a hole in the head.  For another take on this, read “Selling is dead. The Customer Community Killed It” by Kristin Zhivago.

Or as sales veteran Paul McGowan of Outsource My Sales wrote to me :

This has been obvious for the past 5 years.  By the time a salesperson gets to talk to a customer that has a real need, they are an educated consumer.  They know they have a problem, they know the options and you are one of them.  Your ability to impact that is not what it used to be, so the most important thing you can do know is market effectively and help shape the demand and the requirements to your benefit.

Sales guys like me will just sit home and take orders!”

Why do we still need salespeople? As Kristin said we need people towards the end of the customer’s buying process, especially if the product is complex.  But that’s all.

“We believe we are fast watching the death of the solution selling era. The era of discovering customer needs has passed; the era of teaching customer needs is upon us. If a customer has assessed their needs, you’re too late. That is the fatal flaw with the sales approach that has defined the solution selling era, not to be confused with any specific firm’s methodology.”

The B2B company of the future will be composed primarily of Marketing and Inside Sales.  Marketing will handle top of funnel and build trust with prospective buyers, handing over only qualified sales opportunities. Inside Sales will handle most traditional sales functions. Field Sales is a dying breed.

Jeffrey Hayzlett, former CMO of Kodak liked to say “Mama didn’t take your Kodachrome. The consumer did.” Field sales is quickly going the way of Kodachrome, as B2B buyers take the role of the consumer.




About Jeff Ogden

Jeff Ogden (@fearlesscomp) is the President of the B2B lead generation consultancyFind New Customers. Find New Customers helps companies dramatically improve revenue results by transforming the way they attract, engage and win new customers. Contact Find New Customers by calling (516) 495-9350 or sending an email to sales at findnewcustomers.com.

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