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Is the B to B salesperson being disenfranchised? IBM is not alone.

When the IBM CEO Ginni Rometty recently blamed her sales force  for missing the company's results it should ring alarm bells for salespeople. IBM_Ginni_Rometty_at_the_Fortune_MPW_Summit_in_2011

(Photo of IBM CEO from Wikipedia)

It seems that the B to B salesperson is being disenfranchised. Advances in buying practices and tools have disinter-mediated the selling process.
  1. Customers perceive that they get limited value from salespeople
McKinsey research shows that enterprise buyers do not perceive value from salespeople and want to see less of them. This is reinforced by Brent Adamson and his associates writing in the in the Harvard Business Review
  1. Sales forecasts are consistently not being achieved
Company reports have too regularly blamed poor forecasts for poor financial performance.  No longer can the GFC be blamed. Can we blame the company's sales system and process? Can CRM be the problem? Or is it the salesperson's fault?
  1. CEO's do not trust their sales forecasts, and lack faith in their sales people
It is becoming a common cry of the CEO's. A classic example was the public criticism by the IBM CEO of her own sales organisation. And there are a flood of other CEOs with similar cries. In a Forrester post by George Colony he states CEO's had "scathing feedback" about their sales force.
  1. The Marketing and Sales relationship is dysfunctional
Marketing blame sales and vice versa.  But the only the customer can give us the true status - and without delivering a valued buying experience we won't find out that status. How can the salesperson win back the trust of the customer and that of their own company executive?  How can they interact more effectively with marketing? And most importantly how can they regain control of their own destiny? Whatever the answer I suggest it will need to enable the salesperson to gain the ability to positively change the customer buying experience every single time they meet - and particularly at the first contact. Am I right? What are your thoughts?

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