MARKETING AND SALES STRATEGIES

Sales Then and Now

Posted by David Meerman Scott 05:59 PM on February 24, 2016

salespersonTHEN

It was very difficult for buyers to find independent information about the products and services that interested them.

NOW

Blogs, review sites, and social networks like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn allow people all over the world to share content and connect with the companies they want to do business with.

THEN

There was no easy way for unhappy customers to voice disapproval of a company.

NOW

Because of independent product reviews and social networks, there is a huge incentive to fix problems.

THEN 

Advertising.

NOW

Content.

THEN

The seller had more knowledge and therefore had the upper hand in negotiations.

NOW

Because of the infinite amount of information available on the web, buyers now have more information than sellers so buyers are in charge.

THEN

Sellers had little incentive to tell the truth about their offerings.

NOW

Buyers see through spin.

THEN

Companies used agencies to dream up messages.

NOW

People want authenticity, not propaganda.

THEN

Cold-calling was one of the most common methods for salespeople to contact prospective clients.

NOW

Buyers actively use search engines and social networks to find companies to do business with.

THEN

The seller was in charge of the sales cycle, parsing out details to buyers on the seller’s timetable.

NOW

When a buyer is ready to buy, the company must respond with lightning speed.

THEN

Salespeople used scripts to push buyers down a single well-defined path.

NOW

The best organizations customize the buying experience for each customer.

THEN

Jargon was rampant.

NOW

Buyers want to do business in language they understand.

THEN

Sellers delivered only proprietary information such as their company’s white papers and research reports.

NOW

Curated content is the link between companies and customers.

THEN

Buyers needed to ask the right questions.

NOW

Sales is about delivering content at the precise moment each buyer needs it.

THEN

People hate to be sold to, but in the old days they had no choice.

NOW

Today, people like to buy because they have far more choices than in the past!

Hat Tip to Bob Lefsetz, one of my favorite writers, for the format of this post.

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David Meerman Scott

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