The Internet is constantly increasing challenges and opportunities for sales in fundamental ways. In many areas today, we no longer have a seller’s market but rather a buyer’s market. The sources of information for buyers were once quite limited. It was complicated for them to draw fast comparisons. In many areas, sales were attributed to an information edge that no longer exists today because of the Internet. What interests buyers today is the added value of products and services. The difference between more or less transparent products lies in their added value, not in “solutions” packed with a wealth of expertise from the seller. Top sellers have therefore advanced to “insight selling.” They specialize in change-oriented businesses and decision-makers that do not yet know what they need. These salespeople are convincing in their knowledge of the industry and solid “insights,” and then in the way they shape relationships with buyers and decision-makers. What that means at present is that the sales team today and in the future must prepare much more thoroughly than before. Sales must be based on the perfect management of information and opportunities – and that requires appropriate IT support. Read more →
It is all the more important that we appropriately realize the significance of sales to company success and understand it as a process. Like all other processes associated with other corporate functions, sales needs to be structured and designed in a professional, goal-oriented manner. We work and live today in a decade of sales. Successful selling is the best way for companies that have generated benefits to give them to their customers.
It is no good just to talk about customer benefits. You have to make sure that customers, both male and female, actually receive them. That is the only way to generate growth. We have decades behind us in which other corporate functions were the focal point of interest and corresponding paradigms shaped the issue of IT use. Read more →
Sales constitute an essential corporate function, the success of which depends on transparency and flexibility. The right mindset is essential in this context, too. Previous experience shows that sales and the personnel in sales tend to respond negatively to transparency requirements. That has nothing to do with IT applications per se. It is more an expression of a mindset of fear. People are afraid of being monitored, people are afraid of a management that prefers seeing a half-empty glass rather than a half-full one when it comes to opportunities.
This very attitude is obsolete, however, for management and for sales. The fact is that greater transparency in sales is not a threat but rather a big opportunity for everyone involved. The more information is available about sales and about opportunities, the more effectively expertise can be transferred among the individual functional units in the company. Greater transparency in sales allows better support from Marketing, for example. That is important. People who do not find out about something affecting them always have to react after the fact instead of acting proactively as it happens. Read more →
Information and communication technologies (ICT) are particularly crucial to this trend, because business processes revolve around them. Businesses exist as a type of organization to reduce frictional losses as much as possible and make transactions more concentrated in our economy based on a division of labor. A central accomplishment of ICT is that it reduces coordination and transaction costs.
Technological change and the spread of technology have a key role to play. Back in the 1960s, Gordon Moore predicted that semiconductor performance would double every 18 months with no increase in costs. This prediction, known as Moore’s law, highlights the dynamic speed at which IT develops. Robert Metcalfe posited the theory for a telephone network that the benefits of a network increase with the number of its participants – namely for every already existent user. By extension, a computer operating system is all the more valuable as more people opt for it, because there are all the more additional programs available for it. Every additional participant in a network increases its value, which, in turn, attracts additional users. This thesis vividly explains the success stories in the spread of information technologies such as phone, fax or the Internet. Read more →