Have you bought a car in the last 18 months? If you want to take a trip down memory lane, walk into a car dealership and buy or lease a new car -- that is, if you can find one given today's supply chain-driven shortages. If the TV series “Mad Men” has taken us back to the world of 1960’s Madison Avenue and three martini lunches, buying a car today from a traditional dealership harkens back to the era of Willy Loman.
Many companies are on their way to radically changing the way they sell. Tesla has pioneered a new direct-to-consumer model that utilizes showrooms where customers place orders online (partly due to state dealer franchise laws). Auto manufacturers are exploring ways to increase direct-to-consumer connections through vehicle automation (again, like Tesla) and smarter online car configurators. Auto dealers are also increasingly focused on modernizing marketing and sales capabilities and maintaining relevance with a new generation of buyers who’ve never seen a “stick shift.”
How has B2B buying and selling changed?
While we are not suggesting the “Death of the Salesman”, as predicted in this Forrester podcast from 2017, we are seeing consequential shifts in buying (and therefore selling) at an industry level and amongst our clients. These shifts challenge sales leaders to rethink the structure, skills, and support their sales organizations need.