Sales Has An Image Problem, And We're Doing Something About It
October 18, 2017
There are many misconceptions about sales. Just try Googling ‘salesperson’ and see what comes up, modern salespeople are often unfairly represented in the media and popular culture. But these negative portrayals and perceptions are far from the truth.
According to our recent State of Sales Report - 79% of buyers agree that the negative portrayals of sales don’t do the profession justice. Buyers actually describe sales professionals as ‘trustworthy’ and ‘fair’ — a far cry from how the media has historically depicted salespeople.
So, to change this negative view we decided to do our bit to debunk these unfair perceptions. When we googled ‘salesperson’ it was strikingly clear that there wasn’t enough images that represent real sales people today, so we decided to create some using real LinkedIn members.
Our new campaign ‘The Real Faces of Sales’, aims to shine a light on what it means to be a real salesperson today. Meet Amy, Daniel, Wade and Jack - the heroes of our campaign and stars of a new free stock library of images that we shot as they went about their daily lives, working. We also interviewed them, asking each one about those misconceptions and how it makes them feel, as well as what it really means to work in sales today.
As our film and stock images show, the evolution of sales is in full swing. Sales technology has changed the game for sellers, allowing them to work anywhere and build stronger, more productive relationships with buyers and it’s helping them exceed their targets. In a world where sales professionals are managing increasingly complex sales cycles, the best sales leaders like Amy are not cold calling - they are focusing on increasingly personalised sales outreach. They use technology to their advantage and strategically leverage social networks and technology to bridge buyer-seller gaps.
When it comes to technology, sales tools are used by nearly all top sales professionals. In fact, 98% of top sales people report using sales technology on the job and only a small minority — 2% — use no sales tools whatsoever. Our research also found that top performing salespeople are more likely to use a multi-layered, technology-first approach that leverages sales intelligence tools for deep research, CRM to manage relationships, and enterprise communication tools to work across their team.
Relationships have always been at the heart of sales, and trust is at the core of it. Compared to economic considerations, such as price or the return on investment, trust comes out as the most important factor when closing a deal. 39% of sellers say trust in their relationship with a client is the single most important aspect of closing a deal. And in today’s increasingly complex sales environment, building rapport and establishing trust with buyers is just as important, and seemingly easier if sales professionals leverage their sales stack the right way. Today, more than 91% of sales professionals leverage tech to shorten cycles and, close deals and grow revenue.
At a time when new technologies are transforming virtually every aspect of our professional lives – from the way we do our jobs to the very nature of the work - there is a significant shift at the heart of sales. We as business leaders need to celebrate and continue to drive this evolution.
Don’t forget to watch the film and download our free image library. And let’s change these common and dated misconceptions one #RealSales story at a time.