THE ERA OF TRADITIONAL SALES
In the past sales and marketing divisions became part of the silo effect, a massive cross-divisional communication and support gap. As a result vendors saw buyers slipping through the cracks. The traditional sales funnel entailed four key stages, awareness, consideration, evaluation and purchase decision (Hanington, 2015). Marketing divisions only saw their job as creating brand awareness and interest, handing buyers over to sales once qualified as a hot lead. Thus sales divisions had control of the majority of the sales funnel, moving buyer’s from the consideration stage right through to making a purchase decision (Hanington, 2015).
Sales was very much based on relationship selling, new salespeople were not only hired based on their ability to close deals but also their network base. The core idea behind hiring based on a salesperson’s network, was organization’s believed their deal rates would increase. Effectively an organizations CRM database relied on each salesperson's network. However, organizations soon started to realise this technique was overrated. The reality was many contacts in a salesperson’s network were not suited to their products and services, had changed job positions or even organizations.
Sales was solely a numbers game with no subtlety to it. A salesperson’s core focus was to move buyers through the funnel stages, close the deal and move onto the next target. Salespeople could essentially use a one size fits all sales pitch, conveying specific features and prices which would hook targets into making a purchase decision. Selling was more about providing buyers with a promise. For instance an increase in sales productivity as a result of purchase, buyers would then base their purchase decisions off these promises (TEDx Talks, 2014). But, buyers soon started to find purchases provided little or no value to their organisation. Effectively vendors did not deliver on their promises, there was no ongoing support ensuring buyers utilized products and services to their maximum potential (TEDx Talks, 2014).
Overall, as time went on traditional selling approaches started to become ineffective, technology continued to advance bringing the world into a digital revolution.