The Shift Happening in Sales
by Peter Strauss , Tenbound Expert Network

Photo by Hannah Busing on Unsplash

Tech sales and the job today

The world of tech sales and differences between US and Western Europe

The tech world has had a blow. In the last 12 months nearly half a million tech employees got fired.

Most of these people were based in the US, it did however scare the European companies into a freeze.

So much is happening at the moment as early forms of AI, machine learning and IoT are sweeping through the marketplace.

Up until a few years ago, all a sale needed to do is 3 things.

  • Cold call
  • Email
  • Visit (option for field sales)

Then SEO and SEA changed inbound forever. Now a sales had the following specific tasks

  • Convert inbound
  • Cold call
  • Email
  • Visit (option for field sales)

Today a sales has to do the following things

  • Create marketing output with design software
  • Create marketing output with AI (both text and images)
  • Create videos and podcasts
  • Manage Linkedin account and post often
  • Approach prospects via Linkedin
  • Depending on your industry als approach and create on other social media
  • Convert inbound
  • Cold call
  • Email
  • Visit
Sales positions in North America and EMEA

In the US there is a difference between the person doing the discovery and closing. Discovery is for the SDR and the Account Executive closes. The Account Manager manages existing clients.

In the Europe nearly all sales are full cycle. Inside sales does smaller accounts, with larger regions. The field sales or Account Manager has a smaller region but mostly bigger Enterprise clients. In Europe we have hunters (new business) and farmers (existing). Most of the time it is a mix.

Business Development Managers are quite similar in both the US and Europe as they are the starting block of your sales team, making sure new business comes in, but at the same time doing market development research in their region.

The problem today is does the US model work or the European, or are they both getting it wrong?

Is it time to refine sales?

In the graph below you can see that Marketing has a much wider range

It is time to start defining sales in a different more comprehensive way, but how do we do that?

Sales Enablement Manager and Sales Operations Manager positions could be added to a sales team much more frequently. Enabling sales and having an in-house mentor and coach. Sales Operations needs to supply the software and training the sales need to be successful at their job.

Regions around world could use a shuffle as upcoming markets like Central Asia, Indonesia and India are going beyond the GDP of established countries like the UK, France, Germany, Italy and Japan.

Africa is up and coming. A third of the top 20 cities will be in Africa by 2050. Established companies are often active under a different name and are very successful throughout the African continent.

As you can see in the next diagram, the day to day workings have been better mapped in marketing than in sales.

The road ahead in sales

The road ahead for sales will be a difficult one and we have to add new ways of thinking. A 0.25 prospect to email ratio is just crazy. There are different ways today. Calling is still the most important tool, but you can’t live without for example ChatGPT, Midjourney or Canva.

Social media is the growth factor and even though Meta is having a hard time with the Metaverse. The revolution of VR is coming, otherwise there wouldn’t be an Apple Vision Pro.

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