With both the public and commercial sectors facing an ongoing lack of confidence and cut-backs in spending budgets, and competition becoming more aggressive every day, sales people are operating in an environment that is more challenging than ever before.

As a result of these external pressures, senior decision-making executives are making the sales process much more difficult and time-consuming for B2B sales professionals.

Buying decisions are being commoditised and bought on price…or they are being viewed as strategic decisions and are being made at a much more senior level, regardless of the size of business.

If sales people are to win strategic and profitable business, they need to sell more proactively and at a more senior level. But senior people don’t want to be sold products. They want a proactive consultative sale that delivers real business value, return on investment and quick payback in terms of cash flow.

Consequently, traditional sales techniques, such as Feature Advantage Benefit (FAB) selling, are dead. Traditional sales people need to adapt their sales techniques and evolve their selling skills in the process. Consultative selling is the only way forward, even for small businesses.

However, senior buyers are even less accessible these days because they are trying to succeed in a much more complex world and there’s a lot of sales people out there trying to steal their time to ask them meaningless questions or tell them about their latest great product.

People in a B2B sales role in the new world will need to be much smarter if they’re going to succeed. If they can’t be smarter, they need to work smarter. They need to develop practical and repeatable selling tools and consultative sales techniques – whether they are selling products, services, or a complex mix of both.

Author's Bio: 

Steve Eungblut is the managing director of Sterling Chase Associates.

Sterling Chase deliver sales training, business development training and sales leadership development solutions throughout the UK, Europe and the Middle East.