Sales Competencies 4.0: The seller is dead - long live the sale!

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It does not work without a salesman! In the age of digitalization, sales employees have a central role to play. Despite algorithms and artificial intelligence, they are and remain the link between supplier and customer. Best of HR –®

Here writes for you:


Sandra Schubert Sandra Schubert Portrait_klein_quadratischSandra Schubert is a sales expert - for Mercedes, O2 or VW.


Check seller qualities

The demands on sales staff in digital times are new and old at the same time. Expertise paired with passion and the joy of selling are more than ever a prerequisite for sales success. Especially in a highly automated environment, a positive seller personality is of particular importance.

The salesperson has to be just as fit in self-management in digital times as in relationship management. Professional discussion and creativity in customer acquisition characterize him as well as a strategic approach.

Update sales strategy

Clearly, the sales strategy, which is elaborated in detail and tailored precisely to the offer, is of central importance. Lots Company still have some catching up to do here. However, this strategy is not just a matter of distribution, but it must necessarily be realigned together with the management and the marketing department.

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Old business models have to be critically scrutinized and analyzed: Which digitization opportunities are available? Which products, services and services can be offered or marketed online? Which target customers should be addressed and achieved?

Link on and offline activities

"Persona Profiles" created by marketing experts provide information about the wishes, thoughts, motivations and decision-making processes of potential customers. These compact customer descriptions answer questions specific to the target group and at the same time serve as the optimal basis for online marketing and sales leadership. The "virtual journey of the customer" based on this, the Customer Journey, shows at which important "touchpoints" the customer comes into contact with the company.

Online and offline marketing and sales activities must complement each other here. Thanks to digitization, two often competing areas are moving closer together again. Friction and litter losses are avoided when new and traditional sales channels are interlinked and managed. Sales staff with new strategic skills are in demand.

Human Touch

Emotional Selling Proposition is becoming increasingly important in sales strategy. Especially if this emotional purchase trigger can be found in the seller personality. The personal contact of the customer to a sales employee can become a binding and ultimately decisive element. Precisely because all information is available online and the transaction can be made virtually.

However, the seller must have a charismatic personality. The personal contact must enrich the customer relationship. While Unique Sales Proposition (USP), the unique selling proposition of an offer, forms the basis of almost every sales strategy, this is not automatically the real reason to make a purchase decision. Rather, in most cases this is triggered by (unconscious) feelings. These emotional reasons are hard to control with facts and can sometimes be irrational. So today, ESP, the Emotional Selling Proposition, counts above all else.

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Personality as a selling instrument

In digital competition, it is the positive personal qualities of the seller that can create a decisive sales advantage because they trigger emotions. In particular, seller qualities such as enthusiasm, empathy and intuition are in demand. The sales staff uses this skillfully to enter into a person-to-person dialogue after a first social media or e-mail contact and to signal genuine interest in the person opposite.

Since the customer is already well informed by colleague Internet, it is now important to be well prepared as well. It is important to use targeted filter questions to unerringly explore the conscious and less conscious motives of the customer in order to bring them into line with the benefits of one's own performance.

Sovereign conversation

Faster than in the analogue past sales talks come to the point today, but only if the seller skilfully through the conversation and personally convinced. Professional skill alone is not enough. In order to trigger emotions for a purchase decision, it requires a dialogue with heart and mind. If the salesman radiates authenticity and security and approaches his customer on an equal footing, the factual level can be linked to the emotional level.

If this does not succeed, because the seller merely adds further facts to the game, the "compareritis" threatens: equipped with the additional information, the potential customer now goes back to searching the World Wide Web. There he will most likely make his purchase and the activities of the seller have been nothing - except expenses. That would be a shame!

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  1. Amadeus

    On the whole, I also believe that it behaves as shown in this article. However, in a few places I simply disagree!

  2. Bernd

    I don't want to appear too negative, but salespeople really is a job for idiots!

  3. Lena

    Yes, you have sales skills or you don't!

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