Episode Summary

The future of sales is almost here, and it’s dangerous.

Organizations are suffering from unprecedented levels of underperformance. Layoffs may be imminent. And most people aren’t prepared (or preparing) for what comes next.

So how do you safeguard your sales career?

Whether you’re mapping out the next steps in your career or looking to master new skills, the right mindset matters more than ever. Not everyone will be able to evolve their selling style to fit what’s coming sooner than you think. But you need to make the changes now to get the payoff in the new world and ensure you avoid stalled deals and failed sales efforts.

In this episode of B2B Power Hour, we explore the near future of the sales world with Sales IQ Group Co-Founder and Head of Growth, Luigi Prestinenzi. He shares how to make sure you’re ready to deal with the challenges all salespeople are facing in the next few years.

Join us for this episode of B2B Power Hour as we dive into:

⚡ How to adapt and evolve in the storm that’s coming to the sales world

⚡ Nailing your sales voice and honing your selling style

⚡ Which Salesforce of the future to invest a million dollars into

⚡ Why sales are failing even during growth periods

⚡ How your behavior impacts your sales success now and in the future

⚡ Developing a unique point of view in a crowded market that brings buyers back for more

⚡ Why deals stall down the line and how to keep the pipeline flowing

⚡ And much more

Don’t miss this unique chance to bulletproof your sales career with top B2B selling and tech sales tips and strategies.

What he does: Co-Founder and Head of Growth at Sales IQ Global

Key quote: “The sales conversation is what differentiates the sales process. If salespeople aren't bringing their best selves to that sales process… they'll be on a spreadsheet.”

Where to find him: LinkedIn | Sales IQ Global

B2B Power Plays

Top takeaways from this week’s conversation

👟 Train like an athlete.

Athletes train the same way every day for decades. They know the importance of honing daily rituals for an even better outcome today than yesterday.

So why don’t people treat sales training the same way?

Some are open to learning, but many see themselves as veterans who’ve been doing it for so long there’s no need to train more. No one is to blame for this mindset, but there’s no better time than now for organizations as a whole to look at their revenue engine.

Every single leader and sales professional can (and should) move the needle in a positive direction. Look at call calibrations, deal reviews, roleplay, questions, pre-call planners, post-discovery notes and old maps to coax out new opportunities to refine your own sales process.

🔮 The future of sales is community.

In less than three years, the importance of community has exploded.

Communities aren’t new, and (per Seth Godin) they’re very difficult to create. The behemoths of today (think: Salesforce and Hubspot) blueprinted their communities from the get-go.

Creating community has to start from within. If it’s part of the operational rhythm — embedded and nonnegotiable — sales teams are optimized and agile. If it’s not embedded, the forgetting curve and high churn rates sabotage the organization.

This is the future of sales: learning-based communities of sales teams guided by a relentless pursuit of excellence. Each individual thinks about how their own role impacts others and how they can elevate themselves even further.

👋 The open matters just as much — if not more — than the close.

Luigi’s colleague Tony Hughes says, “Opening is the new closing.” It dictates the next stage of the sales process.

But people are too caught up in negotiating and closing. The danger of opening with features or what you can do is that you jeopardize your whole starting position and it’s an uphill climb to the close. You get stuck negotiating because of how you opened.

Compounding this, pipeline bottlenecks are seen as middle-of-funnel issues, when they’re actual top-of-funnel problems. Buyers no longer see value and progress stalls.

To avoid this pitfall, the open needs to start with outcomes that are important to the buyer, the problems they’re seeking to solve, and the risks they want to mitigate.

Episode Highlights

Inflection points from the show

[1:00] Danger zone: Sales is taking a turn within the next 2-3 years. Salespeople need the will to adapt their skillset in the new world.

[4:39] Find your voice: Developing your selling style and sales voice is crucial to stand out against competitors. As Luigi points out, “The sales conversation is what differentiates the sales process.”

[7:34] The blame game: Why has Gartner found a scary 62% of engagements in the no-decision category? (Hint: It might not be about deciding who’s to blame.)

[16:02] Big investment decisions: The Salesforce of the future is almost here. Luigi talks about how he’d spend a million dollars to drive learning opportunities, if given the chance: In short, the best would teach the rest.

[20:47] Topping the legend of Joe Girard: Ali Reda smashed Girard’s record out of the park. But how did he do it? Well, it’s not in the way you might think a typical car salesperson would.

[24:14] Faster than the speed of trust: Knowing where to show up is a huge part of success. We talk about how to build community and avoid forcing to make sure trust doesn’t break down. Steer clear of looking desperate and a scarcity mindset.

[28:52] A unique point of view: Creating value with a fresh viewpoint is hard. Luigi talks about how to do it. Sales professionals need to become better marketers and get educated about the buyer’s journey.

[34:02] Lost momentum: Sixty-two percent of deals stall. But as Luigi’s colleague Tony Hughes says, “Opening is the new closing.”

[37:25] Equipped to succeed: If you’re there to talk or demo, you’re dispensable. Salespeople of the near future need to adapt and grow to the new way of selling.

[40:38] Luigi’s power hour: How does he invest his one hour to make himself more productive for the rest of the day?

[42:49] The value of podcasting: Podcasting does wonders for career boosts. We talk about how.