Friday, March 10, 2017

Is Science overtaking the Art of Selling?

There has been a constant debate whether a good salesman is born or made. There are steady discussions whether selling is an art or science. Some would argue that a good salesman is more scientific in his approach while others would say that he is more artistic. What if both arguments are correct? What if he could be artistic one day and scientific on another day?

I will introduce two styles here: one - Opportunity Focused and another Relationship Focused. The opportunity-focused interaction is where the salesperson uses the science of selling (process driven) to create competitive advantage. Relational-focused selling leverages the salesperson’s ability to establish a connection with the client to win the sale, mostly driven by the art of selling (the art of conviction). The truth is that a good salesman recognizes and uses both these styles. He may be more comfortable with one over the other, yet he uses both in different degrees to suit the moment.

science of selling

Just like a painter understands that there are specific strokes of different brushes and paints that produce a desired effect on canvas, an experienced salesperson also needs different tools and methods without which his art won’t go beyond his imaginings.

There are strong evidence behind this claim as major CRM Systems, marketing automation platforms and metric driven coaching have grown significantly over the past few years. This makes some believe that the social aspect of selling may soon be greatly reduced. This is rather supported by a research by Gartner, which found that, by 2020, up to 85% of customers will manage their relationships with a services provider without a human interaction. And, why should you believe this? As per a research, leads are 391% more likely to convert if they are called within one minute of interest expressed.

While metric based performance coaching and automation are vital to optimize sales, it doesn’t lead us to make a point that Selling is a science all alone. The value of the art of selling cannot be underestimated – let’s face it; at the end of the day, people want to buy from real people, not machines. Selling will never lose that human element, yet still, organizations can foster an empowering and engaging culture that also uses a metric driven technological tool such as CRM.

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