There are too many technologies chasing too few real opportunities and the result is a dramatically lower intelligence in enterprise sales campaigns.
This results in a preponderance of metrics driven activity, for the sake of activity, in over-funded VC invested firms. If a sales manager has reps who are lower skilled, one could train them to be better or just throw them at prospects, endlessly, and measure, measure, measure. It appears in most cases, the latter strategy is employed.
One of the manifestations of this trend is blindly having reps make a determined number of calls, then have a measured number of meetings, then have each rep endlessly review meaningless details in accounts that will probably never close.
In the old days, we called this the activity trap. Activity for the sake of activity, while mindless, is the refuge of the brain-dead manager.
This kind of thing happens when there are too many technologies, thus too many sales reps.
The sports equivalent is having 500 NFL football teams. Teams would field about as much talent as the local high school.
Customers certainly understand this as they continue to hide from intrusive marketing and sales campaigns using anything to make themselves anonymous.
Both the cause and effect of this overabundance of technology, and its pitchers, is having prospects rely more on their own research before ever touching a real human. They know when they do engage with a real person, a measured Hubspot-enabled campaign will follow them and their email to the grave.
The enterprising sales rep will not deny or ignore this terrain, he or she will accept it and use imagination and smart moves to make the absolute best of it. When everyone is doing the same thing, the person who stands out is the one doing something that is both different and effective.
What tech prospects are looking for today is the sales person who fundamentally understands not just his or her product, but the entire marketplace.
The salesperson who can provide a map or set of guideposts to where an evaluation may go delivers an enormous value to the new prospect. That prospect can find competitive info all over the web for all the products; he or she cannot find a well-traveled road map from others who have taken that same journey.
The sales rep who uses imagination in this market does not sell; he or she guides, suggests multiple areas one may want to investigate, introduces the prospect to third parties who are truly independent and have points of view that are not sales directed—they are truly independent.
While competitive reps are delivering endless “white papers” and videos and webinar invites, the imaginative rep is going outside his or her company’s shell and bringing in people who are advisory, not shills.
Imagination is the highest form of intelligence.
Prospects see so little of it with today’s enterprise sales campaigns, they react quite positively when they do encounter it.
Imagination is magnified because so few enterprise reps even know what it is and their sales managers do not foster it since it is not measurable.