What has been the biggest change in B2B sales over the last 5 years?
While you might say technology, the real change is sophisticated specialization. Each sales and even demand gen and account management / customer success professional just doing one stage of the funnel and lifecycle.
And we’re just getting started.
We’re just learning how to, even in the very early days, segment teams into SDRs, BDRs, AEs, SEs, AMs, CSMs, by market segment, etc. etc.
We’ve learned that specialization isn’t something you just do at scale. It’s something you do as early as you can because it increases the ROI of each stage of the lead and opportunity funnel.
The days of the “full stack” sales rep with a virtual yellow pages are dead. Technology and apps have accelerated, and in many cases, facilitated this transition. Prospecting is starting to become a science (hello “account based management”). Account management is starting that transition. AEs that are closers are beginning to come to work with a calendar already full of appointments set up for them. SDR:AE ratios are become science, not experiments.
We’re moving to highly specialized, and larger teams, earlier. At a high level, ultimately, quotas have to move up somewhat to support some of the costs.