163: Exploring the Evolving Landscape of B2B Sales

Episode 163 November 02, 2023 00:46:51
163: Exploring the Evolving Landscape of B2B Sales
B2B Revenue Acceleration
163: Exploring the Evolving Landscape of B2B Sales

Nov 02 2023 | 00:46:51


Show Notes

Sales is an incredibly dynamic industry, which means there are endless opportunities for growth and innovation. While staying on top of the latest trends and crafting a strategy that withstands the test of time can be demanding, it also offers the chance to continually adapt and excel in an ever-evolving marketplace.


Host Aurelien Mottier (Co-Founder and CEO of Operatix) and William Gilchrist (CEO of Konsyg) sit down to discuss the ever-evolving landscape of B2B sales.


In this episode, Aurelien and William reflect on the shifts in the sales industry over recent years, exploring the key factors driving these changes. They shed light on customer behaviour and the profound impact changing trends have had on sales strategies and tactics.


They offer their expert tips on how businesses can adapt to these dynamic shifts and ensure they remain relevant in the ever-changing B2B sales environment. Gain insight into the innovative approaches and best practices that successful sales teams are employing to stay ahead of the curve.


And, of course, the episode wouldn't be complete without addressing the all-important balance between AI and the human touch in sales. Discover how sales teams can strike that delicate equilibrium, ensuring both efficiency and a genuine connection with their clients as the industry begins utilising AI tools more.


For anyone looking to boost their sales strategies and keep up with this dynamic industry, this episode is a must-listen. Don't miss it!

View Full Transcript

Episode Transcript

[00:00:00] Speaker A: You're listening to B Two B, Revenue Acceleration, a podcast dedicated to helping software executives stay on the cutting edge of sales and marketing in their industry. Let's get into the show. [00:00:11] Speaker B: Hi. Welcome to B. Two B. Revenue acceleration. My name is Orano, and I'm here today with William Gilchrist, CEO of Consec. How are you doing today, William? [00:00:22] Speaker A: Thanks so much for having me. I'm doing pretty good. Fun to finally be on here, right? Which is great. [00:00:29] Speaker B: Yeah, it's a change of setting from our last conversation when we met in Singapore. We are with the coffee today, not with the glass of wine, but I really enjoy our last conversation. [00:00:40] Speaker A: We don't know exactly, you don't see. [00:00:44] Speaker B: What the content is, but yeah, I really enjoy your conversation. So I'm really excited about what you could cover today. And basically it's quite a wide open topic we want to cover today because we want to speak about the landscape of B two B cells. But before we get going, William, I'm sure that not all our audience know about you, so it'd be great if you could introduce yourself and the company you represent, Consig? Absolutely. [00:01:05] Speaker A: Well, I'm William gilchrist, the founder and CEO of Konsig private limited, headquartered in Singapore. Even though we're headquartered in Singapore, we have offices in multiple regions. We are a end to end sales force for companies. I like to say that we're sales mercenaries for businesses. One of the key differentiators that we have is that we aim to bring our clients throughout the entire sales process. So that involves the presales lead generation to the sales itself. Pitching either that could be inside sales field sales, where we're going into boardrooms all the way into contract signature. Those campaigns are practically our bread and butter. But in short, sales mercenaries, that's pretty cool. [00:01:52] Speaker B: And what type of clients do you work with? Do you help everybody under the sun or do you have like an ICP of clients that you're particularly good to support? [00:02:01] Speaker A: Well, originally we were founded to support startups in Singapore specifically, trying to go right. So the Singapore startup, tech companies specifically. Right. What we found out was that the demand was a lot higher, actually, outside of Singapore and globally, particularly the west, trying to come east, people in Europe trying to come into, let's say, India, et cetera. So once we started to see that interconnectivity, we started to expand a little bit more, not only for just startups, but also startups all over the world. But then it moved into SMEs after a few years, and now we do with enterprises and some governments as well. So at the moment, it's still probably 90% technology, but we do have some non tech related clients as well that we do end to end sales for. So we've evolved over the last seven years. We're seven years old. [00:02:53] Speaker B: Pretty good. Yeah, it's good to be in business for seven years. That's solid. Let's get into the topic. From your perspective, what do you think have been the main evolution in recent years from a B, two B sales landscape? What have you seen or what's been the biggest mutation that you've seen in the market and what do you think contributed to those changes? [00:03:13] Speaker A: Well, so what contributes to changes? I'll highlight the changes first. We are going back to the element of making sales kind of at its core I think, in the market. And I can kind of expand on that point. Nowadays you have things like spam blockers, you have phone trees that lead to nowhere, you have messaging that you can block so effectively a salesperson these days, even from a B, two B standpoint, it's a lot more difficult to get to your end prospect than it ever was, right? Which means that now we have to kind of revert back to long ago where relationships do matter, quality being extremely targeted, having a real point to say. And the reason why I think the market has changed to make things more difficult for salespeople is because companies, and not just sales departments, but companies in general have flooded the market with get rich quick style sales which has absolutely polluted everybody's perception on marketing, has polluted everybody's perception on sales conversations. So because of that flooding and also contributing with technology, right? So your YouTube ads, your mass email technologies, your robocalls, you can go down the list, your mass texting through WhatsApp? We're so interconnected now that one person could be bombarded with thousands of messages from one person, just from the same person, same if they used every channel. So of course there needs to be a block there. You have GDPR, right, to try to limit these things from happening. And I think that the contributing factor to that is yeah, companies, we've messed it up. [00:05:06] Speaker B: Yeah, too much channel. And also I had a conversation with my team often about the data sources that we're getting. I think things like zoom in for some things are really overused. And I'm thinking if you are, I don't know, head of Data or head of Cybersecurity in a company and your contact details are in there, I don't know how many email you must receive a day, but there is so many people who just do like downloads of zoom info or cognizant or whatever, database, basically, and then start to blast email. So do you think there is also a little bit of kind of a spamming effect and if the contact is in there in database, people just get so much that it's very difficult for the prospect to actually and then it would almost not benefit the person that does the personalization that you just mentioned, which is coming back to creating relationship and being very accurate and doing your research. Even the gay doing that may not get out of the crowd because there is just so much that people are like delete, delete, delete, delete. I would assault. [00:06:08] Speaker A: Well, of course, look, that's definitely why all the blockers are up there. But I do think the way to penetrate that is to and what I mean by personalization is highly targeted and understood sales approaches. Now how many companies actually have a highly targeted and well designed sales approach? Very few, I think under 8%. And I think people are looking at this thing when aren't he talking about why is he able to smirk saying that we have a perfectly designed sales approach? Great. Show me your 36 month sales agenda. Nobody has it. Nobody has 36 month agenda. Everything is maximum twelve months, six months. But really at the end of the day you say twelve on a slide deck for the management. But really you have a three week to three month reality. We need to get sales now through the door because we're trying to get more VC money or we're trying to get sales through the door now so that we can exit, or we're trying to get sales through the door now so we can expand and do more scale. Right? So there's a lot of short term thinking. So as a result, no one has time to create a well designed sales approach that actually can sustain the business for years because the business isn't even thinking on itself in that way. Thus that I think is what it's affecting the market quite a bit. It's two ways, it's the prospects and also it's the companies as well. [00:07:42] Speaker B: So I want to get to the prospect next, but you kind of reminded me. So last week I was in Palo Alto in California and I met with, sorry, the founder of Winning by Design, which is a very successful company. We create like framework and all sorts of things, sales consultancy. And we spoke about methodology and we spoke a lot about ABM in particular. And I think everybody wants to do ABM. Everybody thinks that they are doing ABM. But when we ask the question say what's your ABM playbook actually? Would you go after what do you exactly say? And then would you go next? Do you have a priority order? How do you organize all that? Everybody wants to do it, I think, but not I think your 8% maybe on the ABM we go to 15, 20% of the companies that have a better idea of what they should do. But there is still a huge gap. 80% who want to do ABM but for some reason are not doing it and they have not organized their message. It's a little bit messy and that's what we're trying to work with them. We just say look for an individual like you, william, you've been in the business for a while. I know that in your introduction you didn't mention anything that you've done with Google, but you worked at Google and. [00:08:50] Speaker A: You did some great stuff there. [00:08:51] Speaker B: That's one of the things that stick with me when we first met. But you are a professional that has been spending time in the industry. So for you to jump from one value proposition to another, to be a chameleon of adapting to the crowd, having the emotional intelligence to hear something and then change it's easy when you put a 25 to 30 year old bdrsdr on a campaign or even like a more seasoned junior Ae. And having those people to move from one message to another, having someone that need to actually create a consensus over seven people in one organization to close one deal over a time frame of twelve months, it's much more complex than that. It's really a question of how do we inject the knowledge so they can do that personalization. And I think personalization and terrorism are two slightly different things because you can be personal, but it's important to be personal in the context and that's more like the terrorization of how do you actually adapt. And that's what I think is the essence. The essence is that the prospects are fed up to have like a cookie cutter type of approach. And I'm speaking to you William, but my next step is to get you for a demo. Don't want a demo. I want a quote. No, but I really want a demo. I want to quote. Yeah, but you got to get a demo fast because I need to do I need to get to a demo because that's my process. And I think this is a frustration that we are hearing from the market. And yeah, those approach are well known by companies, but I think how do we bring them to life on a day to day basis and making sure that everybody in your SDR team, in your A team are doing the job that they should do, that's the difficult things to push. [00:10:31] Speaker A: Well, absolutely. And the key reason for that is I think I'm going to sound super negative on this, but people aren't really I mean, look at the people that are in most organizations. Most people in the organization, they sit in roles. There really isn't real loyalty. Their plan is to be there probably a year to a year and a half, which means they just need to survive nine months. It takes three to six months to fire them. So they'll be able to have one year on their LinkedIn profile. Right. Most people sitting in companies, right next they're trying to do ramp up. They're trying to understand and survive and look good. Then also you have false toxic company culture. This is all involved in this point. You have false toxic company culture where you need to show up to every meeting, you need to lie and act extremely excited. You need to say all the things and all the buzzwords that the company believes in and everybody needs to kind of RA because that's what these big tech companies do or that's what that company does. Let's put a beanbag in here and we're cool. Right? Then you have to do all that. Then you have to also continue to survive. You have to try to hit whatever KPIs you have in whatever department that you're in. Then after all of that, you have to come up with a strategy to be able to actually make it work. [00:11:54] Speaker B: Yeah. [00:11:55] Speaker A: And that's the problem. And so ultimately to that essence that you mentioned, decentralized departments is the problem, right? How many marketers are sitting in the sales training? How many marketing managers and directors sit in shadow cold calls or sit in a sales training? How many people that are even the CEO or the VP or the director actually sit in on, let's say, the sales call or the salespeople sitting in the marketing process? Product people, let's go all around the company. No one knows what triggers and what helps each other. So there can't be a unified, ABM approach that involves strong marketing, strong sales, strong leadership, because none of them are really talking to each other. They're too busy with the beanbag and a media. [00:12:45] Speaker B: Yeah. And it's two things I want to reflect on, is, first of all, the tactical one. Most of our clients who actually have a Playbook, which is not a ton, and we've been surprised about that and we've been using all sorts of agencies to support us. We've got partners to help clients that we believe are still figuring out their message to actually get a Playbook in place because that's the necessary friction that we need at the beginning of a program to make it successful. People actually to think about the message as you say, go and speak to their SDRs, go and speak to their product people. Go and speak to their marketing people. Go and speak to their salespeople and then bring it all together. Okay? And for the one who's got Playbook, most of the time, just say, okay, who wrote that playbook is a product marketing guy. Okay? I've got nothing about product marketing people. [00:13:34] Speaker A: A contractor, the prices doesn't work. [00:13:36] Speaker B: It could be a contractor. It could be someone that they've got in the business. But my next question is, has that person recently or has ever been actually speaking to prospects? [00:13:47] Speaker A: Never. [00:13:47] Speaker B: And the answer most of the time is like, no, but they know the product. You're not selling a product. You should be selling a solution. You should be selling it thinking with the emotional intelligence, with the prism, with the lens of the prospect. That's the first thing you need to understand in the Playbook. And most of them do. But it's theoretical and the Playbook needs to have a little bit more of a practice run. You need to tell stories and that's something missing. And then, yeah, I agree with you. Getting department to speak to each other, it's okay when the company is relatively small because I think everybody is willing. It's a small company. The lines of reporting are not super clear. There is some dotted line everywhere. As the organization become a little bit bigger, it's like, oh no. But the SDR team belongs to Cell, so we don't really speak to them. We can't tell them what to do. And that's why it becomes a bit more complicated, because you're right, you need collaboration and you need constant communication to do it properly. Because you can't develop an ABM approach without providing feedback. Constant feedback, constant calibration. There is no ABM plan that I've seen being succeeding that were just done on a whiteboard and got it right on day one. It's always a trial and play and you need to try things what's working, you industrialize. What's not working, you knock on the end and you find a solution to make it work. You need to unstuck it. But it takes time. It's a big push and that effort is, I believe, necessary, but yeah, difficult to take for some clients. And then the prospects are changing. So that's kind of where I want to shift, because you mentioned that. So what have you seen changing from a customer perspective, from their buying journey perspective? [00:15:27] Speaker A: Well, I think that because of the sales process, everything's so distant now. Right? I mean, let's just take a second and go back to 1950s. You had a door to door salesperson. [00:15:40] Speaker B: Yeah. [00:15:41] Speaker A: I still remember in the 80s, my mom wanted to buy a vacuum cleaner. I'll never forget this. And it's a gray vacuum. It looks so ugly. But the man came to the house. I remember he was super nice, vacuumed the living room. We sat there, he put a little bit of the salt on the carpet so it smelled nice. And he vacuumed it in certain lines that my mom tried out for a week. I was very young and I still remember that moment that she bought that vacuum and she was super happy with it. And we had it for multiple years. Can you imagine that happening today? No, never. We do things scale, which is nothing wrong with it because that person is not selling 100,000 units of vacuums every year. I understand. Right. But that was a salesperson who understood the concept of sales. Now anybody could jump in and call themselves a salesperson by just pressing a button and just sending out a flurry of emails, looking at enough blogs and podcasts and chat GPT, up a little message and just blast out the world. And then magically you're a salesperson. Right. But you actually know how to sell. So because people are inundated with all of this messaging, the prospect now has completely shifted. Right. The prospect doesn't even know what to buy anymore. The prospect doesn't even know what value really is. So what happens is you get a more distant prospect who now is just buying on impulse. Often than not, it's oh, I think I want red. Okay, I'll take red. But maybe if you had a salesperson come in and say, look, most people love red, but let me just tell you a little bit about green. Try green out for a little bit and then if you still want red, that's okay. But I just want you to check out green based on you and based on what I see about you and kind of what you're doing, green works really probably good for you, I think. But I could be wrong, right? That's an actual salesperson, but that's not happening. So because everybody is just allowing the prospect to buy on impulse, it's messing up sales numbers, it's messing up expectations. KPIs and also prospects perception of buying. So buying behavior now is automated. Dating is automated now. Even picking a mate is automated now. So there is no real decision making process. A lot of it's just a lot more impulsive to be able to get to a journey. So it's hard for them to appreciate any new product that they have. They'll just switch or they'll cancel the subscription or whatever it may be. [00:18:30] Speaker B: Yeah, and I think it's been particularly tough also recently, I think what we've seen since well, I don't know if you've seen that on your side, but I know you've got a global team, so you probably have a good understanding of what's happening across the world anyway, even if you're based in APAC. But since Q Four last year, we definitely saw a slowdown in the market. Okay. The consumer market has slowed down. In Europe, people had very big bills over the winters for gas, electricity, due to the conflict in Ukraine, we could not get the gas and the electricity we wanted. The price are going up. In the US. They had their own issues. Lots of companies had to make redundancies. We've seen a bit of slowdown in the market and have you seen the buying journey or the prospect changing the way they buy in that climate? And if you have, what have you noticed as the most important change? [00:19:24] Speaker A: Well, in tech, not so much, right. I think tech has really continued, right. The value of automations, integration. In fact, sometimes when things are not so good, tech sales actually tends to go up quite a bit because people are looking for better ways, more automated, innovative ways to get things done. However, I do see that people are a little bit more reserved with their budgets right. Or they're actually not in any kind of a real trouble, but they've read it on the news. So because the news or Wall Street Journal, the New York Times says there's going to be a recession in 48 hours, you'll get email responses. We're trying to protect ourselves against this recession that's going to come. And it's like you're a billion dollar company and this costs 999. Why would that even affect you? Right? So I do think a lot of that is moving papers around, but tech, and particularly b to b tech sales, not so much. Right. The most that I've seen is that people are a little bit more guarded, a little bit more afraid of their budgets. The only time I really saw a difference, honestly, was during COVID Yeah. And people are a little bit more forthcoming and transparent about it. We actually don't have financial problems right now, but we're just too scared to buy anything. Right. I would get emails like that and I used to think that was the most honest and hilarious way to communicate. They're like, we aren't struggling financially, but we don't know what's going to happen in the next six months. So we're just going to just hold tight, call me back and then we'll buy this technology. Right? That's the only time I ever I. [00:21:02] Speaker B: Think money was a bit more expensive or became a bit more expensive in Q Four. So if you want to any clients that we've had that were probably planning to do a fundraising or raising some money or whatever, it may be going IPO or anything in 2023 or in the first half of 2023. So people are kind of getting to the end of their runway of cash. We've seen a few having issues, we've seen a few really saying, well, we are concerned because our cash burn rate is way over our capacity to invest. And if we were to go to market to get some money, it would cost us a lot of equity. So we've got to be very careful because the valuation are kind of going down. So we definitely have seen that. And I guess the only thing that I've spotted from my side is that kind of similar to what you mentioned about the prospects sort of changing. But for us, it's more like everybody become a representation of their CFO, okay? And we've had clients literally counting every single dollar, which is fair because technically that's the way it should work, but to an extent, that sometimes is not reasonable, where after three months, someone expect to get a return on investment when actually their sales cycles are six months. And we are working from Cold data. So like, look. [00:22:23] Speaker A: 17 days, one time, where's the return investment? [00:22:26] Speaker B: What? And it's okay if we were to pick up opportunities that already are baked and we were to close them. But what we're trying to explain to them is, look, this company let's say we start from cold. So we've just got a list of accounts. We need to go after them, find the right people, engage with them, nurture the conversation. And eventually, when they already have a meeting with them, So let's say we are lucky and we get a meeting on week one of the project, okay? Then the sales guy will probably go and meet that prospect on week two of the project. So it's been ten days already, then the sales guy will probably need, if it's an on top price deal, which is probably for us, is probably 70% of our business, 80% of our business. Like deals that are over 150K on AR. Those deals, you probably need to have three, four meetings at least before you get to a proof of value. And then proof of value is likely to take a month, maybe two months. And then you need to provide them a report and you need to think about it. And then they come back and they potentially do something, okay? That's if you are disruptive and they create a line of budget for you, if you are more, less disruptive and you are a bit more of a commodity. You are selling me a mug, and I've already got one. But your mug seems to be better than mine. Then you need to catch me when I'm replacing my mugs, right? And I'm replacing my mugs once every three years, once every year, once every six months. So then you could have some quicker opportunities for the commodity. One where you could grab someone like, we are beginning of September. You speak to them now, they say, Look, I've got renewal at the end of September. I'm actually extremely unhappy with my current vendor because I try to get them to discount me because we grew our number of users, but they would not discount me. In fact, they want to increase because they are trying to send me their AI stuff that I don't want. But they want to give you whatever, then you can grab a quick one. Okay? But there is a lot of and I've seen a few posts on LinkedIn from one of my friend, the CEO of Full Funnel, which is also an organization like us, like in the B, two B sales and pipeline acceleration was posting this morning something about hey, people come and say, I want to speak about CAC. I want to speak about ROI. Yeah, we can have this conversation, but you also need to have a budget and we need to understand that ROI will come over a period of time, but we also need to allow for hurdles to be met along the way. And it's not as easy as just like a turnkey situation. You've got deals coming in and those conversations are important to have, but also difficult to have. And for us, the particular difficult when you have a referral. So let's say you call us William, because your friend John is telling you that operatics are doing a grand job for him. He's like, oh, I've got all those opportunities, so you come to us. I want to work with you guys. If we are not careful of setting up the expectation with you, your expectation will be on the expectation of what John's told you. But if your product offering is different, your ICP is different, your market is different, the region you want to cover is different. Your average deal value, sales cycles are different. And we actually don't put that friction in the sales process to actually discuss with you and set the right expectation. I mean, in 90% of the case it's going to be like a plane crash and we have been victim of that. Our sales guy taking deals too quickly at the beginning of the year because they come through a referral and people are like, look, you don't need to talk to me. John told me how great you are. Send me the contract. I trust you because my good friend trusts you. And I know that guy is a hard ass. And if that hard ass trust you, you must be great. So that's fine. And that's why we've got to be careful. That's what I've seen this year. It's like setting up expectation and also understanding the return on investment from customers, how to report on it, how to communicate about it, how to speak about what we are going through, providing them data to show them that we're doing something. I've had clients this year coming to me and say, you must not have worked on the campaign because we've been six months at it and I've not closed anything. I'm like, but guys, your sales cycles are six months anyway from an opportunity to close, how would you expect and it's just if you don't sell it at the outset and speak about it frequently. I also think that it's probably linked to pressure, people needing to get some numbers. But it's a bit of anxiety and a bit of counting every single dollar invested and I think we need to adapt to that. [00:26:49] Speaker A: Well, look at who it's going to, right? We have to go back to kind of the original point is that more often than not the individuals who are doing the evaluation and making those calls and making those decisions, more often than not, they haven't done cold calls themselves. More often than not, they've never ran a sales pipeline themselves. They've never experienced four to twelve quarters of sales. How many of those individuals, you go on their LinkedIn profiles, you look at their background, very rarely do they have a cold calling experience. Maybe data entry experience, to cold calling experience, to team lead experience, to managerial experience, to director experience. And then they're sitting where they're at right now to be able to evaluate what you're doing. Anybody who's been in this type of work of pipeline generation, pipeline development, getting ROI and hitting sales targets and hitting numbers over a sustainable long period of time would know the things that you're saying. So the disconnect is that departments aren't talking. People are too good to sit in a cold calling training. People are too senior for that. They don't have time for that. Right? They're too busy running the sales organization. But they may either have never sold before or they're responding. To pressures from above them, as you mentioned, but they don't even have the wherewithal to push back on it. I said last night on my Lead Generation is Dead podcast thing, which is we had an individual come to us. We didn't take this client, but they said they wanted $10 million in six weeks. Now let's unpack how troubling this is, right? From a salespeople. You can laugh as a salesperson, right? Because you've been in this. That's an absurd thing to say, right? It's so off the mark that even asking the question in its essence is weird. It's kind of like, okay, well, you walk to the store, okay, I expect you to fly to the store. Pull out your wings and fly to the store. That's ridiculous. That doesn't make sense. So it's kind of like, have you ever been out of the house? Have you ever interacted with humans before? The fundamental question sometimes also exposes the experience and the exposure that a lot of people have. So what you've been experiencing a lot of times is going to fall on deaf ears. The people are not going to register what you're saying because they've never actually been through quarter on quarter of actually doing the work, maybe managing it, maybe overseeing it, maybe throwing a chart up, but they've never actually had to do 120 cold calls a day. They never do 500 customized emails a day. They never needed to have the pressure of that last three weeks, where you're about 70% of your number and you need to try to figure out how you're going to get the remaining 30% and losing some and winning some and exceeding targets and getting bonuses here and then not getting bonuses here. Because that one deal that said it was going to come in didn't. Or this person promising you that they're going to come in and even maybe even signing the paperwork and then just pulling the plug right away. All the people that are doing the evaluations of your work have never experienced that. But the salespeople on the ground will be listening to this. They know exactly what I'm talking about, right? And these are the things that get disconnected. So more often than not, the challenges are that the people who are evaluating and setting these targets and putting these expectations out there have never been on the ground to actually see what it takes to actually execute them. And that's where the disconnect is. So when people like us come in on the outside, we know what's going on. We're trying to balance the two, but then everybody's in for survival. So let's say you throw opportunities to say if we're talking lead generation business development, you throw opportunities to the sales team. If the sales team doesn't close it on the first call, they're not going to say, hey, look, I'm not a good salesperson. They're going to say the lead was bad, right? It's the easiest way to get it off you vice versa. If you're working with marketing, well, end of the day, you're going to get, well, we're going to need more of this, or changing the scope of things. Right. And a lot of it is playing hot potato to be American, to play hot potato of the responsibility just enough to where it doesn't really work, or you just kind of get below the expectation, but it's good enough to make it to the next one. How many people are overperforming as a sales organization? No one is, right. Everybody is just below or completely below. They just need to tell a good enough story by playing hot potato all the time. And that's one of the things that I've observed based on what you're saying as well, because I dealt with what you described three times this week, so it's very familiar and I'm getting like post traumatic stress just like thinking about it. I'm like, oh my God, I just dealt with something like that this week. [00:32:01] Speaker B: Would there be any specific trends or development that you believe will revolutionize B, two B cells in the near future? Is there anything that you think is coming that we've got to adapt to? [00:32:14] Speaker A: Well, I think it's knowledge. I think my big narrative here on this topic is knowledge sharing. No matter what type of technology, what methodology, what technology, what new approach, what new buzword, if everybody in an organization does not actually know what's going on, they're just knowing their particular department and their particular KPIs, it's very difficult to bring in anything that can revolutionize it. All it's going to do is create more distance because you bring something new in. Well, great. CRMs are a prime example, right. CRMs gave more justification for people to hide from understanding how sales works because all you got to do is look at the screen, look at the chart, and if this number says zero instead of one, you got to get mad, but you don't really even know why. You're just going off of a chart. So any new revolutionary advice that I would give actually would take away from I think the biggest problem that we have is that we're not very knowledgeable as a professional community on what sales is and what sales is supposed to be, be it sales cycles, expectations, presales, value propositions, and the business itself. Right. If your company is looking to exit in the next twelve to 24 months and your sales cycle is six months and you're a sales rep, I hate to say it, but why join the company to be like, what's happening? [00:33:41] Speaker B: They're trying to exit. [00:33:42] Speaker A: So how does that work? How are you actually going to really hit your numbers unless you're super lucky? Right. So I think that if things are adopted to revolutionize that B to B sales space, I think the first thing that I would say that shouldn't be revolutionary, but it is, is knowledge sharing and collaboration between departments, which I'm a bit of a cynic. My mentors are a bit optimistic. I don't believe that's going to happen because I believe that the chaos works for people's individual jobs, but it doesn't work for the broader scope of revenue generation and kind of business development and scale. [00:34:21] Speaker B: 100%. And how do you foresee AI impacting the landscape moving forward? Because there's lots of things going on about AI in our space, but how do you foresee it impacting us? And what opportunity do you think it can bring to sales and marketing people? [00:34:39] Speaker A: A good budy of mine recently said something that I think is quite profound, so I'm going to steal it from him. These are not my words, but I thought it was really good. Look at AI as to what a secretary was before. More often than not, someone would go to a secretary and say, hey, I need you to write a record or a report, or I need you to go find a design for this, or I need you to draw this up or sketch this. I'm kind of alluding to chat GBT here, but I know AI is much bigger than that. Right, but imagine that idea of what a secretary is, but not the primary. Still, I think AI is amazing in terms of optimizing certain things, whether that be product designs, architectural landscapes, movie editing and things like that. I don't really believe we know how to use it yet in terms of B to B sales. No. Look at what technology is doing to b two B sales now and how distant a prospect is from sales, and how we just said companies aren't getting the revenue that they were expected. And look at all this technology out here, all this revolutionary technology that's gone on in the last ten years, all this VC money. This is going to change your this and that. With all this tech here, with YouTube out and all this stuff, it still hasn't necessarily gotten these businesses so much more money than what they were expecting. AI is not going to change that. It's how we use it. If we use technology in a manner that pretty much doesn't do our work for us, but it enhances the work that we have from within because we have the knowledge of what we're actually doing and not trying to pretend, then AI can be extremely powerful to be able to replicate what I need to do at scale. But until and I'm bringing it back to knowledge until we get there, to where we're not lying to ourselves, we're not making these false forecasts, making these fake expectations, fake meetings, fake everything. Once we kind of break that, then we'll be able to use technology the way it's supposed to, which is to enhance what we're really trying to accomplish. [00:36:51] Speaker B: Right? Yeah, that might be a bit eric. Sorry. No, that's know, to add up to your analogy, one of the analogy that I was given by who is, you know, obviously well known in our community and doing a couple of podcasts together and bits and pieces and talking about those topics is the salespeople of the future will be like Tony Stark. And Tony Stark is a human who just got a suit that make him more powerful. So, yes, the AI may help you to fly, but may help you to accelerate your research. Right now, if you search GBT, unfortunately, it's not updated, so you can't do research as of right now. And we've had some of our games being caught. And that's what's interesting. You've got the Pros and you've got the Ante, and I think you've got two camp in the world. I've been speaking to prospect. In fact, John was kind of telling me, look, if I replace you, right, an AI that does a better job than you, that is never tired, that never make a mistake that you could do because you're good, but sometimes you get tired and sometimes you're not in the mood or whatever, you make a mistake, then, yeah, why not? If I could replace a service game because actually the AI bring me what I need on those, on what I need and it's really saved my time and all that, then why not? But then we've got prospects who are actually and we've seen it because we've got some of our guys that have been we're putting a policy together in time of how to use Chat GBT. In fact, that policy is in place now because when Chat GBT came out, we had people searching on consec. So give me a load on consec, what's going on there? And basically the data that they would get back then at the beginning of the year was the data from 2021 because it's not up to date. So then we will come to you and say, oh, we know that you are trying to expand in Malaysia and you're opening in Japan. That's old news. It's been done two years ago. What are you talking about? But that we kind of did not know. We saw that Chat GBT was there and it was kind of the only grain and then you can pay for the more expensive one to get better data. But then it's the quality of the prompt, et cetera, et cetera. But what we've also seen we've had some of our reps who have been paying for the better version because they see it as a way to get better information on the individual and on the company, which helping their research, which we like because it's a bit more tailored, because it's warmer to speak to someone and say, hey, I've researched you. And yes, I've researched you through chat GBT. But that's a quick way for me to get access to information. Right? However, we've had some guys who've been asking Chat GBT to help them with their sequence of email and say hey, I need to write an email. We're just going to get that. And in those three bullet points I would like to put a bit of context about that. And we had prospect responding to us and say, look, I've got a chrome extension that told me that he was AI generated. And I will mark you, I don't want to talk to you, basically, because if it's not a human, if you're not going to spend the time to craft a message by hand to me, you clearly don't care about me as a client. I think a few things will happen. I think I agree with you. I think it's going to be like the secretary. We'll be able to do more with less. We're probably going to find a way to make ourselves busier. We're going to find a way like post COVID we used to have less meetings. Now literally it's back to back to back. It's difficult to breathe. So I think we're going to find a way to make ourselves busier. I think there will be some laws that will constraint a little bit. What could happen with AI? We also need to think about quantum computing because that's the big one that's coming next. Quantum computing will just make AI so powerful that technically the AI could speak to each other without us being able to understand it anymore. It's a long way. [00:40:38] Speaker A: It's a matrix at that point and that's scary. [00:40:41] Speaker B: Let's not get there because we don't want to be too philosophic. But I agree with you. I think the point that you made that is resonating with me is that look at technologies. We bring technologies right, left and center. You love all those marketing tools that are generating new leads. It could be like a demand base, a 6th sense, a tech target, all those kind of content syndication, priority engine. Then you've got the advertisement, the Google, SEO, all those sort of things. The website which is still the main source of leads for most companies. All that traffic coming onto the website and converting that's one thing but then you've got to convert and then you've got the CRM which can giving track of things. You've got sales automation, you've got marketing automation but then sales automation, marketing automation. Are they creating really direction? Are they creating spamming? Are you doing the right thing? Are you doing the right thing? Is it a volume game or is it a quantitative game? Is being successful in sales banging out 1000 calls per day, or actually ten crafted calls for people you really want to speak to because you really have identified them as the people you can support. And you're really convinced that if you speak to them, you're not going to disrupt their day, but you're going to actually share some valuable information that can help their business moving forward. Okay, that's what I don't know. And I think that's what? I've got an opinion, and I like the latter. I like the more luxury type of self service where you feel special. I would rather walk into a channel shop where they call you by your name. I mean, I don't shop a channel. So it's not the right example. [00:42:19] Speaker A: Well, yeah, no, but it makes perfect sense. I'm applying what you're saying, all the different technologies we had over the last ten to twelve years. Because when you're looking at SEO, things like that, this is all primarily 1314 year old tech, right. All the different automations and things like that. Mobile applications, even smartphones in terms of how they function now, I mean, that really wasn't until 2005, six, we had your blackberries. But let's be real in terms of what's going on now. But technology has made things a lot easier for those who use it as a tool. The companies that use technologies as a crutch always fail. Right. We don't have to just talk about the last 13 to 14 years. Let's look at the emergence of the calculator. Let's look at the emergence of email internet in itself. Right. You have companies like Packard, I mean, they've existed long before these things. The Internet was really there. Right. So the fact that they could exist, well, that's interesting. Did they just rely 100% on the emergence of the Internet to define their business? No, it was okay. We're incorporating technologies to accelerate the things that we do because we are good at what we do. We know what we're doing, and we're accelerating it. Right. And I'm going to say the same thing for AI. If it's something that we use to accelerate what we're already good at, great. But if it starts to speak for you, or you start to say, okay, well, give me everything that I need to say on this podcast, well then now I'm not really speaking what I know, which means I'm not experiencing the world, which means I'm not creating any kind of art. Right. Because AI is that I think the key thing about AI that we're forgetting is the A, it's artificial. So if that's the case, it has to be based on something, right. The uniqueness of, I would say the human touch, which is what you were talking about, about that perfectly crafted call that takes a level of reflection and introspection that no technology could ever do. You have to sit back as a human, and this is going to be kind of a deep part of this, but you have to sit back as a human and kind of look at the sky and say, I think I want to call. You know, John was skiing last week and I saw a video that he did online. He looked a little tired from know, I wonder if John's okay. I tried to sell him six months ago. I'm going to give him a call. John, I saw your ski thing. Looked a little tired. I remember you mentioned before, know you had a back injury. I was wondering how that was going, because I saw you skiing. It looks like that you're better. But you did look a little tired. Am I reading too much into that? That's an interesting start to a conversation. Can you imagine AI doing that? You would have to calculate that. Not now. [00:45:29] Speaker B: Not now, but quantum. I've seen some scary application of it, so I think we'll have to wait and see. But I do agree with you. I think bringing the EQ to AI and IQ IQ, definitely EQ is that emotional intelligence. That emotional connection of robot count of an emotional connection. So I completely agree with you. But thanks so much for sharing your insight today with us, Will. It was really good to catch up with you. I know that you've been not too well with your back, so I appreciate you taking the time to speak to us. And you're on the road of recovery, which we are super happy to hear that you spend the time with us today. Well, if anyone who's listening to this podcast wants to follow up with you, have a chat, speak about you, about Consig, what you could do for them, what's the best way to get in touch with you? [00:46:17] Speaker A: Best way to get in touch is through LinkedIn, actually. Always on LinkedIn. So William Gilchrist. My name down there. Also, check us out at Consig, WW Konsyg.com and can actually book me straight up the site or hit me up on LinkedIn. It's pretty easy in touch with you. [00:46:36] Speaker B: Perfect. Well, it was great to have you on. Thank you so much for being on the show today. [00:46:40] Speaker A: Thanks a lot for having me. You've been listening to B two B revenue acceleration. To ensure that you never miss an episode, subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast player. [00:46:50] Speaker B: Thank you.

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