My job is selling technology. Actually I'm more of a translator. I sell technology to other businesses and that's where things get weird. There is a bewildering array of tech out there and unfortunately many companies think technology sells itself and the value that the technology delivers should be obvious. Wrong. That's where I come in. I said I was a translator. My job is to translate techno babble into value that customers understand. This blog share my adventures with high tech sales. Selling high tech is fun so come join me on my sales journey!

Friday, 11 October 2013

Sales isn't important

I learnt an interesting thing today.   Sales is not important to the global population.

That's quite remarkable given the trillions of dollars of trade and GDP of countries - much of that will be as a direct result of sales.  If a company doesn't have sales it is dead so it's not that sales is not important. In fact in today's globally competitive markets I would argue that the role of sales is more important now than it's ever been.

So why am I making this claim that the global population doesn't consider sales important?

The answer is Google.  Google has a wealth of statistical information about what people are interested in.
They provide access to this information through the Google keyword tool

So let's look at some search terms entered into Google

How to sell                      85,380 global searches per month
Sales training                      1,810 global searches per month
Sales coaching                   2,060 global searches per month
Learn to sell                          110 global searches per month
Learn how to sell                     40 global searches per month

Yet the population occasionally wants to learn how to sell and this is reflected

Sell my car                      49,500 global searches per month
Sell my house                  37,210 global searches per month

I discovered this low level of interest in sales by accident.  I discovered that sewing is more interesting than sales

How to sew                  472,850 global searches per month
Bernina sewing machine   72,580 global searches per month

So a brand of sewing machine that I've never heard of is searched for 5x more popular than learning how to sell.....

I suppose the good news is than more people are interested in how to sew than celebrity news

Celebrity news              301,000 global searches per month

So what to make of this?

I'm concerned that so few people are interested in improving their sales skills.  On the one hand it's good news for me since as a sales professional I am constantly looking for new ways to improve my sales technique and that gives me the opportunity to excel compared to my  competition however it's also worrying that so few people want to improve their selling technique which means that poor standards of selling will continue.

If we assume 1 in 100 people are involved in sales  in just the UK and USA there are  3.1 million people in sales but the search popularity on Google translates into each of these people search once every 3 years.....

Even if we assume that it's only the top 20% of sales people who are proactive, that only translates to 1.5 searches each year. Hardly continuous improvement.

The quality of sales skills needs to improve yet do we overcome this apathy?

46 comments:

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