I don’t argue anymore about the role of a Sales Professional in a modern enterprise. There’s nothing to argue about. The Sales Professional is responsible for quota. It’s not lost on anyone the role the Internet has played in changing how Sales Professionals sell – the process, tactics, when and where things happen, etc. Additionally, the Internet has become the go-to research tool for all buyers. It has fundamentally changed the behaviours and processes of buyers.

Adaptation to this new buyer behaviour has been uneven. Some industries have embraced new behaviours rapidly, while others have resisted. One thing is certain: the rules of engagement are dictated by the consumer. Generally, the consumer is seeking to solve a problem safely and there are check-boxes that need checkmarks.

How far along the evaluation journey a sales prospect is before they engage with a provider (by completing a website contact form or actually reaching out with a phone call) is estimated between 70% and 90%, depending on which research firm you trust. Whatever the number is, odds are that by the time the prospect makes contact, they are informed. That puts pressure on organizations to develop awareness and a value proposition with cores audiences via its own marketing communication strategy prior to any formal reach out from prospects.

Tip: Organizations that invest strategically in modern Marketing Automation have a distinct advantage over their competitors at this stage of the cycle. Why? A well tuned Marketing Automation solution can track website navigation of your prospects, and that goes a long way toward informing sales follow up. If your prospect is further informed, shouldn’t Sales Professionals be too?

The result of an informed Sales Person is a tighter, more relevant message to his/her prospect across the entire buying journey. A personalized and more consistent message from Marketing (initial acquisition) to Sales (prospect engagement) likely means a more efficient – and potentially faster – sales process. In addition, it most certainly will result in an improved experience for your prospect. If you’re still reading this blog, I don’t need to remind you the impact this will have in helping you meet quota.

You can debate how much of the sales cycle Sales Professionals own today, and while it might be less than 10 or 20 years ago, the importance of this individual has never been greater. If Sales was so easy, Marketing wouldn’t be required. And if Marketing was so easy, Sales wouldn’t be needed either.

In order to make quota in 2018, Sales Professionals need to adapt themselves to the needs of the buyer, the new buying journey their prospects take, and the tools available to support them.

In addition, Sales Professionals further aligning themselves, processes and possibly even quotas with Marketing will only result in tighter end-to-end experiences for their customers, while also keeping ahead of competitors.

To learn more about Sales & Marketing Alignment and what that means for your organization, contact Goose Digital today.