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Sales 1988 v Sales 2024

The business of sales and selling has changed profoundly since 1988...or has it?

🕰️ Reflections on the Evolution of B2B Sales 🚀

The business landscape has transformed dramatically from the 1980s to 2024, and B2B sales is no exception.

Let's do a quick compare and contrast of these 2 eras to see what it means for sales professionals.

📅 1980s: The Age of Personal Relationships

In the 1980s, B2B sales depended on quickly building long-term relationships. Salespeople relied heavily on in-person meetings, phone calls, and handwritten letters. Trust , rapport and personal communication was at the heart of every business relationship - there were no other options!

📆 2024: The AI Revolution

Fast forward to 2024, and the digital transformation has obviously reshaped B2B sales. The rise of e-commerce, data analytics and AI-driven tools has revolutionized how businesses buy and, in particular, how they sell.

Sales reps have a dizzying array of tools to leverage these days - CRM software, social media, and virtual meetings to engage with customers across the globe.

💡 Key Takeaways

1️⃣ Data-Driven Insights: In 2024, we harness data to understand customer behaviour, buyer "intent", preferences, and trends, enabling us to make more informed decisions and personalise our offerings.

2️⃣ Virtual Collaboration: Virtual meetings and remote work are the norm, allowing sales professionals to connect with clients worldwide with ease.

Stop press: Most salespeople have worked remotely for years and years, only needing to attend the office occasionally for team meetings and to submit expenses (🤣).

3️⃣ Personalisation at Scale: Technology evolution enables us to personalise our approach to each client, making them feel valued and heard.

4️⃣ Efficiency and Automation: Automation tools streamline repetitive tasks, freeing up time for strategic thinking and relationship-building.

While the fundamentals of B2B sales – understanding customer needs, building trust, and delivering value – remain constant, the tools and tactics have evolved dramatically.

In 2024, adaptability, tech-savviness, and a deep understanding of data are essential for success.

Embrace the future, but never forget the timeless principles that have always driven B2B sales. 🌟

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