"The buyer gets the question answered. The seller doesn't have to go run around and add two weeks onto the sales cycle. So, you know, this is the kind of stuff I was imagining back in 2015, 2016, 2017"

From Episode 9: Enabling the Thoroughly Modern Sales Professional with Outreach’s Mary Shea

Clip Transcript:

So this leads to kind of a n interesting question, so what are the characteristics that a modern sales professional needs to have? Because clearly, since my days of being a commissioned salesperson 20 years ago, you know, the DNA of a salesperson has to be a lot different to work in this tech environment. So what does it look like? Who is the modern the modern sales professional?

Oh, my goodness. I thought you'd never ask. So I'm so happy to say. I can't stop thinking about this. I think about it all the time. And I'm constantly sort of evolving and updating my frameworks and my models for what with this new seller looks like. But, you know, I think to thoroughly modern seller is someone who is comfortable and capable in delivering meaningful message and interaction across synchronous and asynchronous video, someone who loves to collaborate both internally and externally. What we're seeing, Tom, is that buyside committees are becoming larger and larger, more and more distributed.

And so with that, you need more experts on the sell side. So the days of that lone wolf seller going out and sort of in the business and, you know, sort of bringing that unforecasted piece of business to their boss's desk. Those are kind of behind us. The next piece really is an understanding of data. So you don't have to be a data scientist, but you need to understand how to cull through data and go ask the right questions of your marketing team or your data science team so that you can go back to your customers and make connections and add value in ways that you could never do before.

One of the other things I was really struck by last year when I saw the LinkedIn state of selling state of B2B selling survey, was that the number one buyer rated attribute was I want someone to engage in active listening. And that was probably three or four down in terms of what management hired for. They hired for negotiation skills, communication skills, a bunch of things that, yes, they're important, but not completely at the top of the list.

Another thing I've been thinking a ton about is this concept of neuroscience and tapping into positive emotions to immediately move forward from setbacks and trying to find ways to engage with more empathy and have deeper connections with customers and prospects even as we're separated from each other in the physical world. And finally, I think just being able to gauge really authentically and effectively in digital formats. So that's, these are the new skills I think, that sellers need to have. Most organizations have not hired for these skills.

And so I think it's crucial to take a step back and figure out how you need to help yourself get these skills, whether it's retraining or or what have you.