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© 2017 Benjamin Satchwell
The methods described within this book are the author’s personal thoughts. They are not intended to be a definitive set of instructions in transforming your sales department. You may discover there are other methods and materials to accomplish the same end result. Reader's should obtain professional advice prior to making any changes within their own organisation. To the maximum extent permitted by law the author disclaims all responsibility and liability to any person (arising directly or indirectly) from any person taking actions based on the information in this book. The book is also the views of the author and not attached to any past or current employers and bares no relation to the services offered by these companies.
Welcome to Sales Futurism. I wrote this book based on the fast-paced change we are seeing in the B2B world of both buying and selling. I am in the midst of a sales management career and have had a front row seat for how sales has changed since the GFC and the impact it continues to have on the way we sell.
My desire to write Sales Futurism stems from the unknown world that we find ourselves heading into. It’s been over a decade since I first picked up the phone in the B2B world and to this day I still love to talk all things sales. Whilst there are many sales gurus and trusted advisors in the world today on how you can win today, this book is not that. I wrote Sales Futurism to take a speculative crystal ball into the future. I enjoy sharing conversation on what this new world we head into MAY look like. In the main I have thought through every part of my professional world at the moment and the conventional approach a lot of us take. Then from my own experience I have identified and hypothesized challenges with this approach and have posed the questions on what our B2B sales world will look like either 1 year, 10 years or 50 years now.
By reading this book I invite you to join me in hypothesizing what the future of sales will truly look like. At times I am going to present both insightful and confronting realities of how things may play out different to what we all think. But that’s the magic right, none of us quite know.
There are millions of incredible ideas out there in the world, I wrote this book as part of my contribution to the wider conversation already going on today on what the future of sales will be. Of course not all the idea’s I present here will come true, but what I do hope comes true is it sparks idea’s in you today that will enable you to begin on your own personal journey in what I think is the greatest career path. I also encourage to join in the conversation at networking events and online. You may agree or disagree with some or most parts of this book but what I assure you is it will present you with new versions of the future that will make you second guess your established status quo.
Benjamin Satchwell, 4th November 2017
I’ll call it. None of us truly know what sales will look like 10 years from now. But what I can tell you is it is going to look very different to what it does today. When immersed in conversations on the future of sales you are likely being bombarded with talk around sales technology, mainly the prevalence of artificial intelligence and the role it will play. I carry the opinion there is much bigger shift at play. That with the emergence of technology our focus is being blindsided. Sales Futurism is going to go much deeper on hypothesizing our future state. There is a new world of educated buyers out there in the information age and as a business function sales is struggling to keep up.
Is this really a problem? Well here’s the thing, from varying sources you’ll find that anywhere between 40% - 80% of front line salespeople in the B2B world are missing target. We’re seeing a new breed of buyer that are more informed prior to making a purchase and are not engaging salespeople till later in the buying journey. Buyer’s that don’t wish to be ‘sold’ to are empowered as there is a power shift from the sellers due to years of holding the information and power whereby the buyer is holding the majority of the cards now. What with more digital channels being further refined this chasm of power is only going to gravitate towards the buyers. As sellers the time has definitely arrived to be OK with that, but to be OK we need the entire supplier business to be OK with this.
During this book we’re going to look at the entire sales department and parts of the marketing department. This is not a book on sales and marketing collaboration. This is a shift to what I foresee buyers want from their suppliers. On the journey through this book we’ll explore changes in sales process, metrics and KPIs, profile of future sellers, the team structures that will ensure success, the sales technology industry, the change in content we will provide to buyers, sales cycle lengths, websites and training programs. Some ideas will be abstract, almost abstruse if looked at in our current world. Remember I am playing out hypothetical arguments on what our future state will be. From reading this book you will be armed with new ideas. Whilst these are not steeped in the rigorous scientific research of studies such as Neil Rackham when first formulating SPIN selling or the CEB Challenger research, I think you’ll come to find that a lot of what I present is actionable today. My hope is there are some companies I have never heard of that come out shouting and let us all know they are already doing some of these things and seeing positive change.
Who is Sales Futurism for?
If you carry a desire to know what the world of B2B sales will look like tomorrow, this is most certainly for you. This is for the open-minded. The forward thinker. The believer that sales today is not a well-oiled machine as it could be tomorrow. Take-away's that you receive will be job role dependent, but keeping reading for sure if you are a;
Start-up Founder – this is it. The chance to start on a new path and set your sales and marketing department in a progressive way that will help the buyers of tomorrow. You've gone it alone in business knowing full well that what you offer is there to make a difference and take to market something different. To stay ahead you want to start on the right path and push the boundaries, this book and how you think through sales is definitely for you
CEO/Business Leaders - tired of seeing the same old missed revenue forecasts? Unsure what your next move is? Feel like you have exhausted every avenue in setting up your sales and marketing function for success? Deep down know you’re behind though and haven’t made any significant transformation changes? By reading this you get to push your sales leadership on whether they are truly being customer centric. Do they really know your customers world?
Heads of Sales – have you got that feeling that what worked last year isn’t cutting it this year? Struggling to keep up with the evolving way that customers are buying? Feel like you know where the gaps are in your sales department but are unsure on how to plug them? Heck, you may think that you are doing just fine today. But you know change is coming so why not take a look.
Front Line Salespeople – you’re in this career for the long haul. You want some insight into where your world may be going. If you’re tenured you know things have changed and are keen to get some more insight into the direction we may be going.
The common thread between all who finish this book... you’re pumped to be in this career, excited to talk about what is next but know that what works today will not work tomorrow and want a ticket to the next phase.
You’ll finish this book with new views on what the B2B sales world may look like in the near future, with your horizons broadened. From an execution perspective, there will be parts in each chapter that you can take away and use today. This doesn’t need to be a complete transformation. But I suspect upon concluding this book you may just feel that way.