In sales, it’s easy to forget that the goal is not to sell, but to help. It’s easy to get caught up in the quotas and numbers and lose sight of the customer. And now, technology has made automation the norm and human contact a rarity. Technology’s purpose is to make our lives easier — to allow us to accomplish so much more with a lot less effort. Hours of work are condensed into the single click of a button.

Technology lets us do everything the easy way, but the easy way isn’t always the right way. Heinz Marketing’s president, Matt Heinz, believes 2017 is going to be about taking the harder route. It’s going to be less about the numbers and more about the people. 2017 is going to be the year of focusing on the customer.

“We have prioritized sales outcomes over having a customer centric metric that actually drives foundational interest in solving the problem,” Heinz said. “Too often, we’re pushing prospects into a product discovery conversation before a ‘need and outcome’ discovery conversation.”

What Next?

The key, according to Heinz, is taking the time to lay the foundation instead of jumping the gun and offering demos left and right.

headshot “Unless you’re doing a one-call close, which you probably aren’t, you still have to put the foundation in place.”
Matt Heinz | President of Heinz Marketing

“The prospect has to agree that they’re committed to change before they’re committed to going through your sales process,” he said.

Laying the foundation takes a lot more time and effort than this technology-driven society might be comfortable with. But if sales is going to be more customer-centric, the single click of a button won’t cut it. “If you take the time to create that foundation, it may take two or three calls,” Heinz said. “But once you get to the end of the sales process with qualified prospects, they’re as committed as you are. You can advocate not just for your deal, but also for their outcome. You can help them focus on achieving something they’re committed to.”

Want more predictions? Get our guide to all the 17 top sales trends for 2017 here.