I read about an interesting new sales book today, Beyond The Sales Process. One of the authors, Dave Stein, is well known to me and has a long reputation of putting together quality sales content and research.
These two points from an interview with Dave and his coauthor, Steve Andersen, hit me between the eyes. I totally agree with these points and I think it’s something we’re starting to lose sight of today–dare I say it driven by Sales 2.0 type thinking!
Automation and efficiencies are great but in the end sales (vs. marketing) is about relationships.
Why have trust-based relationships become so crucial in sales?
It’s virtually impossible to maintain product superiority in the customer-driven world in which we live, and customers have told us that they value trust-based relationships. In fact, there are practically no suppliers that are considered strategic by the customer that aren’t in this type of relationship.
What would you say to the people who contend that neither the buyer nor seller have time for this kind of relationship building in today’s selling environment?
Together, we have interviewed thousands of salespeople, account managers, and sales managers — and hundreds, perhaps even over a thousand, of their customers. We have never heard a single customer say that they don’t value relationships with their suppliers, and the vast majority will admit that the relationship is frequently a primary determining factor in the outcomes of their purchasing decisions.