This post may push some buttons but it’s a conversation we need to have …

In the old days of selling the salesperson had to go prospecting, find the leads, build the connections, earn the conversation and make the conversion.

When you have to do all the work to take a prospect through this process, you’re much more focused in every part of the process.  If you lose the sale, it’s your own personal effort and exertion that is wasted or lost.

People often hated prospecting and most people just wanted to get to the close.  However, you knew that to get to the close you had to lean in fully to all the parts of the process, even the ones you disliked.

Then internet marketing and lead generation started to take hold and we replaced prospecting with funnels and calls-to-action.

We shifted the focus to triggering the customer to take the first step towards us based on our marketing.  

In old school selling we did the opposite and actively positioned ourselves to be able to take the first step towards the customer.

Both are valid, but the 21st Century way of selling has also created some lazy sales behaviours.

In many businesses we see inbound sales teams waiting for the leads to be created by the machinery of the business.  Not unexpectedly, this can reduce conversion rates as the personal relationship isn’t strongly established before the sales person gets into the sales conversation.  

It may also be true that the salesperson won’t defend the sale as strongly because the leads haven’t cost them personal time and energy.

There’s much to appreciate in the modern sales environment, but we must keep guard on laziness creeping in.

As we head towards an interesting 2023, what might the mantra be for anyone in sales?

I think it might be “do the intelligent work!”

Don’t just work hard, also work intelligently.  Don’t allow any lazy sales behaviours to establish themselves.  Challenge everything and keep improving.

The environment will demand it of you!