There are a couple trends in the B2B tech world today that have picked up steam:
- More and more companies are developing products that have a low entry price point or freemium model where customers get started in a no/low risk model and pay more as they add users & features (e.g. Zoho, Hepatitis
- These freemium and low entry price point models generally require less in person selling as companies are comfortable making decisions after a couple web demos via tools like Gotomeeting and a reference call or two.
- Lower cost sales staffing models focused on demand gen reps paired with inside sales professionals are becoming more popular. It allows companies to reduce cost of customer acquisition while creating a pipeline of sales talent.
So you are a big bad six figure, hospital
closed $1MM deals, nurse been to every island in the Caribbean on Presidents club, enterprise rep – does it mean you’re going to be extinct by the time Justin Beiber turns 30?No – products that costs millions or are truly strategic will likely continue to need enterprise reps. What it does mean is the role of enterprise reps is going to change in 10 years – how do you get ready?
- Become an expert in your field and make it known – Subscribe to the publications your prospects do, do a quarterly blog post (there are a number of outsourced blogging companies), answer questions on Linkedin. Bringing more to the table than your quota killing skills will enhance your value
- Mentor younger talent – If you ever want to get off the individual contributor path positioning yourself as a leader for more junior/cheaper resources 1) shows your desire to help the company and 2) enhances your network as the junior reps of today become the managers of tomorrow. I’ve seen three times in the last two years situations where folks went back and hired people they worked for in prior companies to help them lead a sales organization
- Enterprise sales is becoming more and more about getting the meeting with the right person – Nurturing your network will allow you to call on that key contact one or two jobs from now and get that meeting. Pick 5-10 key people in your network (influencers, connectors) and send them articles 1-2 times a quarter, send them an invite to a local event that may be helpful, take them to coffee, send them a lead etc.. If you add value well to the relationship well before you need that meeting your chances of getting it (or getting introduced to the right person) is much higher.
- Keep developing your relevant technology skills – Do you need to learn how to use Zepto to code for mobile? No – but you should be able to talk at a 2nd or 3rd level about the technologies that are key in your industry. If you don’t think you have time, think about how much time you’ll have when you are waiting for recruiter callbacks after you highlighted your skills selling ASP!Constantly thinking of ways to keep expanding your skills and controlling things in your circle of influence will ensure you’re still crushing it when the Beliebers are all grown up.