Brief Outline of Sales Evolution: From Phone Calls to CRM [Infographic]
The modern world got used to the constant technology innovations, marketing and sales evolution, as well as perpetual changes, in general. However, the business area still faces the challenge of delivering timely and relevant offers to the customers. In fact, currently, sales pros deal with the new type of client - an educated prospect. So, when these leads come to you, they are already aware of your brand and services while you are far less informed about their interests and preferences.
Experts say that sales evolution has begun after the WWII, and keeps improving nowadays. The early changes started with the combination of psychology and methodology what led to the appearance of such acronym as AIDCA (attention, interest, desire, conviction, action). In the 1960s it was shortened to AIDC - attention, interest, desire, close. These were sophisticated psychological techniques for persuading a customer to buy a specific product. The development of this sales approached continued in the 1970s and changed into FAB (features/functions, advantages, and benefits). Customer audience of that time gave a big value to the brand recommenders, but not to the product features and benefits they promoted.
Centricity on Customer Issues
During the 1980s, sales evolution acquired a new perspective as long as customers became more educated, and sales people applied their charisma for avoiding aggressive selling that turned on the prospect defensiveness. NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) became a requirement for training conducted for sales pros. Along with NLP in the 1980s, Neil Rackham developed SPIN Selling that took a focal point on issues and implications faced by a customer and positioned the product as a helpful solution. This approach can be viewed as a foreground for value-based sales.
Integration of A Personality Aspect into Selling
Best practices for developing complex strategies based on the qualifying customer, managing channels of interactions, and paying attention to the cultural background and political situation come into sight in the 1990s. Sales reps considered themselves as a problem-solvers and appreciate their time, as well as the time of their customers. These were the first steps for personalization of the sales because managers dedicated all their efforts to specific targeted clients.
CRM As A Paramount of Sales Evolution
Approaches and methodologies from the previous century were reviewed, analyzed, and partially merged what initiate an innovative treating of the client. Since the 2000s, sales process and business running switch from the product centricity and put their focus on a customer.
CRM technology which appeared in the 1980s acquires a strategic value for building close customer relationships. Fast processing of data, new channels of interactions, automation for facilitating technical aspects help businesses to streamline their attention to clients and their interest, and specific demands. At Velocity.com, we found such an excellent infographic that depicts the key strategies and approaches to sales processes since the 1960s.
To sum it all up, we should admit that sales modes run through a great development process and still stuck to the improvement path, as well as customers who become more savvy and educated.
Folks at Trujay wrote a short but useful overview of CRM system capabilities for business, so if you want to find out more download free ebook “