When you look at how selling has changed over the last 5, 6, or 10 years, there is not doubt that technology tools and a scientific approach to selling has become prevalent in the B2B sales world. But are you more productive now? Do you have better data that you actually apply?
In a world where CRM adoption is very low, and tons of information exist, but most of us are too busy to stop and take a look. I know people in selling are scrambling.
Recently I had a fun debate with Velocify CEO, Nick Hedges. On a webinar, Nick defended the science of selling while I focused on the importance of the art of selling - and since that time, Velocify has created an e-book with some of the takeaways. You can read about it and download the new ebook
I am the first one to embrace technology - in fact most everyone I work with these days is involved in the technology industry or has new technological aspects to their businesses.
However, so much of what we do in selling involves the human art of communication - how you connect to a buyer, what you say and even what you don't say. You must understand how to listen for nuances, and you need to make the effort to follow-up at the right times and with the right context to move a sales opportunity forward.
You can vote on whether Science rules selling or if Art does here - let's take a stand!
You need both sides - the art and the science of selling to be successful, but if I could choose which component to favor more heavily on I would definitely choose Art - because of two key areas:
There are nuances that technology have not been able to pick up on as of yet. When to follow-up, for example? Which person in the decision making team to talk with first? A CRM system might prompt you to set a next action, but it is human thinking that determines when that would be and with whom.
From an emotional intelligence standpoint, there is assertiveness, impulse control, self-awareness, interpersonal skills, empathy, and likability. Each of these has a communication aspect and must be considered when working as a seller.
The Psychology of Dealing with Humans
See above - basically there are so many ways a seller can sabotage a sales opportunity, and there are ways they can resurrect a very stalled opportunity to success - solely from the human aspect, not from any technology tool or process reminder.
So give a quick vote - Art or Science? We'd love to hear your thoughts.
Lori Richardson is recognized as one of the "Top 25 Sales Influencers for 2013" and one of "20 Women to Watch in Sales Lead Management for 2013". Lori speaks, writes, trains, and consults with inside and outbound sellers in technology and services companies. Subscribe to the award-winning blog and the “Sales Ideas In A Minute” newsletter for sales strategies, tactics, and tips in selling. Increase Opportunities. Expand Your Pipeline. Close More Deals.