people holding power linesSales leaders want their teams to sell more and close more, faster. Yet, some sales leaders are searching for an improved sales performance from their teams, while driving the same old processes and playing the same old game. At the recent Sales 2.0 conference, Tiffani Bova, VP and Distinguished Analyst from Gartner, said “What got us here, isn’t going to get us there” and explained the new game sales leaders must learn to play nice in.

Technology and different—but maybe better—experiences

“Technology creates far different experiences than it did 5 years ago.” Yet, the difference now is that individuals are trying to make technology feel more user-friendly and more, for lack of a better word, natural. Tiffani shared a great example of overhead power lines (some exceeding more than 765,000 volts between conductors) as figures of people instead of the standard tower. She used this example (see photo) to highlight the internet of places and how people around the world are aiming to make technology more personal.

The buyer’s journey is more self-educated

Customers today are now significantly more educated along the buyer journey than they used to be. They are making decisions far before ever speaking with a sales representative, or at least engaging them at a much later stage of their journey. And sorry to say it, but “pipeline is not giving you a realistic view of the customer journey.”

Changes in technology and experiences quite obviously promise changes in who sells best, why and how. It also brings the question of skills needed to win those deals. Tiffani explained to us the difference between A and B sales people in comparison to processes. “’A’ sellers are high maintenance, whereas ‘B’ sellers are always going to follow processes and maintain performance.” Though very different, the smart sales leader chooses consistency over fussiness with high bouts of success. And with the new definition of the buyer’s journey, they must also accept that the old “sales process” is dying. The customer is saying “don’t manage me through your sales process, manage me through my buying cycle.”