Sales as a success enabler.
The traditional, linear B2B business model with the fixed processes of request > quotation > order > delivery is no longer up to date in the technology sectors.
Thanks to digitalization, practically all markets are becoming buyer’s markets. The price is negotiable to the seller’s benefit only when the product or service has a unique value. Due to the ever-increasing detail of customer specifications, this is becoming more and more rare. Accordingly, a successful sales department needs to communicate to the company which characteristics a superior product or service needs to feature; in other words, the department must steer product and service development in the right direction. At the same time, the sales department needs to monitor the customer’s requirements at every level of the product life cycle and initiate the steps the company must take should anything change. To master this challenge in an in-company environment of tense interplay between cost and capability as well as under the pressure of customer requirements, perfect organization is required, along with staff that possess sufficient experience and strong social skills.
The profile of a successful sales manager or key account manager includes criteria that are becoming increasingly challenging. Social skills are growing to be more important than technical knowledge.
When I assume the position of CSO or sales manager, I place great emphasis on training your co-workers to have social competence in all customer-related areas, thus increasing your profile as a success enabler.