Selling as a Service?
There’s been a lot written about how “the Internet changed everything.”
Marketing and sales software companies like to tell you about it so you go out and buy their thing. They’re right, of course: the Internet has fundamentally changed marketing and sales, but we knew that.
The question is: how?
The Old Days
A sale, at its core, was a transfer of information. A salesperson knew something you didn’t about their market and their product or service, and they told a story as persuasively as they could. They wanted you to buy from them.
You didn’t know who was in their social circle, who their boss was, or anything more about their company than you’d heard, or was in their brochure.
Your ability to research for alternatives was limited. The salesperson, to a large degree, controlled what you knew about their product or service.
A sale, at its core, is another service your company provides. You can go out and learn as much about your salesperson, their company, and their competitors as a salesperson can. The information you have is essentially limitless; they don’t control information anymore.
You know their connections on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter. There’s recourse if they’re shitty to you because you can go out and tell the world about it.
You can find every alternative imaginable. And you know as well as I do that there often are feasible alternatives no matter how well-positioned a company is.
Today, those who exceed at sales provide you a service of learning more about your problems, the possibilities in solving them, and how the future could be different.
When you make a decision to buy something, the quality of the sale may be a factor simply because you have complete control over what you buy, and whom you buy from.
If anything, selling skills are becoming more important than ever.