Dick Ruff joins me on the Salesman Podcast to discuss the evolution of sales and where it is heading over the next 5 years. A topic that I think about a lot and I knew Dick was going to have some really interesting incites into.
Evolution 1 – Product centred to customer centred
Dick explains a little sales history for us millennials that perhaps never practised selling when it was in it’s ‘product centred’ style.
“If you had a few objection handling techniques and a few tricks for closing you were probably all set to go”
We then look at how it made a shift to a customer (questions, SPIN selling etc) focused style and why this has been effective up until today.
Evolution 2 – Product centred to consultant focused
We then move onto where things are heading and this is where things get really interesting to me. It seems salespeople are going to have to become true consultants, providing real solutions rather than just matching up their products to the needs of the prospect.
This likely means that companies will have to form team around salespeople, they may just be called consultants in the future and the number of opportunities will decrease whilst the salary and prestige will go through the roof.
Dr. Ruff has spent the last thirty years designing and managing large-scale sales training projects for Fortune 1000 companies. These projects have varied in scope from targeted sales training efforts for launching new products to international sales training engagements with organizations like UPS, McKinsey, Apple, and Smith and Nephew.
Dick spent the first part of his sales training career with Neil qRackham during the start-up years for Huthwaite, Inc. In 2000, Dick and Janet Spirer founded Sales Momentum®. Sales Momentum® specialized in designing a new generation of sales training programs that focused on helping Fortune 1000 companies achieve high impact business results.
In 2011 Dick and Janet launched a new company – Sales Horizons. The idea behind Sales Horizons is to leverage the lessons learned working with market leaders to create sales training programs that are effective and affordable for mid-size and small companies.