Why Sales Is Broken

By: Ankur Srivastava November 16th, 2016

We’re saying it: Sales is broken. That might be a bold statement to make, but we know it to be true. Here’s what we found; in 2014, approximately 3,500 newly funded companies entered the market. In 2015, that number increased substantially with the entrance of approximately 4,300 new companies in the market. 2016’s numbers are projected to follow suit and increase as well. With this many companies targeting enterprises, and with countless sellers chomping at the bit to close sales and make money; why isn’t everybody winning? Why are there companies failing to bring in profit and sales professionals who are not closing as many deals as they are capable of? Furthermore, why aren’t great companies even getting meetings with their target clients?

We took the problem and broke it down into three areas: the emerging companies (startups), the top-tier sales professionals, and the large enterprises.

1. Emerging companies (startups) are having trouble breaking into their target markets.

All of these newly funded companies that enter the market each year have to go through some kind of sales process. The only problem is they are comprised of engineers, innovators, computer scientists and operations leaders. None of those is trained in the art of sales.Now, you might be thinking, “They know the product better than anyone else! They believe in this product. They put their blood, sweat and tears into this product, so of anyone, the creators should be able to sell their product, right?” Wrong. Having passionate belief in their solution is great, but it does not mean they possess the knowledge, experience, and the network necessary to close sales and make their company successful.

Instead, most of these companies are deploying heavy marketing using Google AdWords, SEO, SEM etc, just to generate leads. They are also being coerced by marketing engines to use popular terms to essentially fit their solution in a box, making it sound similar to everything else out there. While casting a wide net is not a bad idea, this type of marketing is an expensive value proposition for small sales deliverables. Not to mention, these are precious early investment dollars that should be benchmarked for engineering. We also realized that these emerging companies know very little about their target clients. So even if they are able to connect with a senior executive, it’s very hard for them to align their company’s value proposition back to an enterprise’s pain point. Ultimately, emerging companies have a need for top tier sales professionals that can help them navigate these enterprises in a sophisticated and discerning manner.

What’s more, prior to Swarmsales, the only other platform that existed for direct contact after email was LinkedIn. Because of that, enterprise executives are getting overloaded with messages, averaging 50-100 messages a day from junior sales reps. With that many cold messages, it’s easy for messages from top tier sales professionals to get lost in the mix.

2. Enterprises are overwhelmed with options.

Next, we looked at the problem from the perspective of the large corporations and found that because of the nature of the current company/seller market, enterprises are left with very few options when purchasing effective business solutions. If they go online to research a product that would meet their need, they are flooded with thousands of companies trying to target (re-target) them. If you don’t believe me, Google search “Cloud Based Analytics Solution.” You will notice that the companies with the biggest advertising dollars, such as the IBM’s, Oracle, SAS are up top and the many disruptive, emerging companies are below and are almost unidentifiable amongst the rest. How would an architect, systems engineer, or a DWH analyst find the product that is best suited for them when they have so many to sift through? There are the big names which feel more trustworthy, but may not be the right fit for them, and the ‘others’ who all look the same.

In speaking with some of these target buyers we discovered they were open to trying emerging technology to solve their pain point, but had become reluctant because 75% of the time when they attempted this approach without the assistance of a trusted sales professional, the product was not a fit. Bottom line: the larger enterprises want to consume emerging technology. They just have too many options out there, so they pick one of the big names because, hey- nobody looses their job by choosing the ‘safe’ option. The future of sales requires that enterprises work with trusted advisors, (much like what they get working with the big names) who can bring the best fitting, most innovative business solutions to them, instead of having to sift through the masses themselves.

3. Sales Professionals build precious relationships and then loose them constantly.

Even the best sales professionals working for some of the top large organizations are frustrated with the current state of sales. They take the time to nurture relationships with executives, they build trust and rapport, and then…BOOM! Territory change. In large corporations like Oracle, IBM, or Microsoft, salespeople are tasked with accounts and are expected to cultivate relationships, become a trusted advisor to the client, and subsequently drive a purchase for millions of dollars as quickly as possible. However, once the fiscal year or deal comes to a close, the accounts change and that seasoned seller now moves to another set of accounts. Great salespeople maintain these relationships regardless of the territory change, but are no longer able to monetize them.

Not to toot our own horn, but beep beep! We believe Swarmsales is the resolution to these holes in the sales process and is changing the way sales is done. We want to cultivate a platform where everybody wins. We want to see the most innovative companies succeed. We also want enterprises to benefit from our marketplace by integrating innovative business solutions into their organization through trusted, seasoned sales professionals. Lastly, we want to give our sales professionals the ability to monetize on their nurtured relationships and bring the best business solutions to their network, not just the most well known products.

If you would like to learn more about Swarmsales or register as a company or seller visit www.swarmsales.com and #GetYourSalesOn. 🙂