Salespeople have wants just like all professionals who wish for more success. As I read the most recent data regarding these wants by Richardson Sales Training, I am not sure if business to business sales representatives (B2B) understand the reality of SMB (small to mid size business).
The reality is 98.2% of all firms in the US (most recent data collected by the US Census Bureau-2008) have 99 employees or less. And what is even more telling is 95.4% of all US firms have 9 employees or less. Yet research appears usually to be skewed toward much larger firms with revenues in excess of $500 million and probably more than 99 employees.
Translating the wants of those salespeople to the reality of the small business owners I believe is a significant hurdle.
Even if we accept that B2B salespeople with under $500 million share similar wants, there is still a big disconnect.
Smaller firms, those (95.4%) do not have marketing departments because they cannot afford that expense. So these SMB business owners expect their sales team to generate their own new sales leads.
Prospecting is a marketing skill not a selling skill.
Marketing must be handled by individual sales personnel. There may be some marketing in place but from my experience this marketing falls along the lines of Captain Wing It. The small business sprays its marketing actions all over the place and then pray something will stick. Sales Training Coaching Tip: An integrated marketing approach that aligns inbound and outbound marketing is the best way to proceed in today’s marketplace.
As far of having the opportunity to secure new selling or sales skills fails into the same “we don’t have the money bucket.” Any improvement in sales skills is self initiated by each salesperson. Sales Training Coaching Tip: If you are not investing in your own professional development, why should any firm invest in you or your solutions?
Looking at the impact of mobile technology is another empty bucket. Many of these same SMB businesses have static websites if they have one at all and are equally clueless about mobile marketing, digital marketing, call it what you will.
With the continued down sizing of larger firms and those sales people now searching for positions within the new reality of SMB business, may given them pause for concern and potentially create new challenges for these sales folks and SMB business owners.
P.S. If you are one of those 95.4% SMB business firms, then you may find this FREE webinar of interest – Your Values Are Your Small Business Differentiators on February 7, 2013 from 12-12:30pm cst.