Why This CEO Will Never Hire More Salespeople

March 25, 201510:00 am579 views

Salespeople have often been the growth engine of business, but the tide may be turning in many industries, particularly for high tech companies. The traditional sales role is endangered. Today’s buyers have access to endless information and peer feedback like never before. New data on B2B sales shows that 60% of a typical purchase decision is made before talking to suppliers and up to 90% of the buying cycle is done before buyers speak with sales reps.

At Aha! we purposefully don’t have a sales team nor do we pay commissions on new customers. That’s because we believe it drives the wrong behavior and outcomes.

Instead of sales, a Customer Success team takes a consultative approach to engage product managers and their teams. It’s not just a rebrand but a different approach. Well-compensated, benefiting from profit sharing and owners in the business, they have no quota, do not prospect and don’t know commissions. This means that they are free to focus on the only thing that matters at the core of every B2B business – the customer’s success.

What does this mean for traditional technology sales teams? They are no longer required — and likely are hurtful to profitable long-term customer relationships and growth. It’s not them though and they should not be blamed, but rather how they’re motivated.

4 Reasons Emerging Tech Firms Won’t Hire Salespeople.

The four key reasons behind the move not to hire salespeople? It boils down to:

Growing a business is about fostering trust and relationships, not pushing product. The goal is to show the value of the product and build a relationship with the customer. The only thing that matters is the customer’s success.

People crave honest suggestions, and can tell when someone is pushing an agenda. They do not want to be cajoled to buy something, especially a product that is a poor fit. Being authentic accelerates personal and business growth and the value that is created for everyone involved.

It’s much more exciting to collaborate to understand the customer’s needs vs. making a disjointed pitch when there is a bad fit. At Aha!, we hire experienced product managers who love helping customers build product strategy and visual roadmaps so they can build what matters. It’s a rewarding two-way street that leaves both parties feeling energized.

Today’s customer can easily research an entire marketplace in minutes. This brings transparency to a process that was previously veiled. And this applies to everything from buying a car to new software. They don’t need someone to connect them with products anymore. What they do need is to be engaged, surprised, and delighted on their own terms.

We are players in a new world where innovation is being industrialized and every aspect of daily life is being impacted. We all have the opportunity to influence the future — and it’s just not clear that commissioned sales people will be part of it.

Don’t get me wrong. There will always be people who work with customers, but I doubt that in the most successful companies that their compensation will be tied to the deals they close. What do you think? Will commissioned sales people disappear from the corporate equation?

The original article was published on LinkedIn Pulse.

See: Reintegrating Sales & Marketing

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