The Role of the Seller in the Digital Era

by Mentor Group / October 27, 2023

It will not come as breaking news to any seller that their role looks and feels more different now than it ever has.

Whilst this is intuitive and easy to take at face value, we're not a "gut-feel" organisation, so let's look at some key facts to shed some more light on the situation. 

  • More than 80% of B2B Sales interactions between Buyers and Sellers will take place in digital channels by 2025. - Gartner
  • Customers are only spending 17% of their buying journey interacting with a Sales team. –
  • 75% of Buyers and Sellers now prefer digital self-serve and remote human engagement over face-to-face interactions. - McKinsey

These should be very compelling to anyone involved in developing enablement and transformation programs, but equally, Sellers need to really think about what this means, as what Sellers had traditionally done is being removed. So, like everything, the Sellers need to change and adapt, or they will be seen as irrelevant.

Looking at each of those statistics in a little more detail will help us build a clearer picture of what role the seller of today needs to play in order to be successful in the digital era.


Adding Maximum Value to the 20%

Digital channels have become increasingly important for Selling (B2B and B2C) as they allow businesses 
to connect with other businesses globally and at any time and location. They do not largely depend on 
live interactions but rather focus on providing the Buyer with the information they need to make a 

All in all, it’s a win-win for both Buyer and Seller. The Buyer gets the information they need, and the  Sales organisation can expand reach, reduce costs and gathers intelligence. But what role has the Seller got here? What value are they bringing?

If we look at the traditional model of Selling, a lot of the value has been removed, and the Seller is being  reduced almost to the role of an order taker. Almost everything else has changed.

The skills we learnt as Sellers to take a Buyer from one stage to another… gone. The skills we honed to 
influence and persuade… gone. The whole process of consultative Selling and adding value… gone.

For us as Sellers to regain our place of adding real value to a transaction, we need to look at two things:

  1. What value can we bring in the 20% of interactions still requiring our involvement?
  2. What can we do to be involved in the other 80%?


Adopt a Digital-First Approach

As buyers move more and more towards preferring a transaction with as little interaction as possible, sellers need to adopt a Digital-First approach.

A Digital-First approach means putting your content and value propositions front and centre, making  sure your digital touchpoints are all evolved and optimised to drive Sales. 

A successful B2B Seller in the digital age must be a lot more tech fluent. From experience, there  is a large digital skills gap between generations, even in things as simple as using a CRM (Customer  Relationship Management).

So, with so many different digital channels to master, from social media  platforms to e-commerce marketplaces, it's essential that Sellers understand how to navigate these  tools and use them effectively to reach Buyers.

With technology and digital channels evolving rapidly, Sellers will need to adapt quickly and stay up to date with the latest trends and tools. They'll need to be comfortable experimenting with new digital channels and technologies, testing new marketing strategies, and constantly looking for ways to improve their approach.


Modelling the Attributes of the Infinite Seller

What value are we really adding if 75% of buyers never want to interact with a seller? There is a clear disconnect between what buyers want in their buying process and what traditional sellers are able to provide.

We believe there is still an immense amount value a seller can add for a buyer, but the process of adding that value hinges on sellers adapting to model a completely different set of attributes; the attributes of the Infinite Seller.

You can read all about those attributes in this article about Infinite Seller attributes, and you can also read about the entire Infinite Selling methodology by reading our new book, Infinite Selling: The Modern Approach to High Velocity Revenue Generation and Realisation.

As sellers maximise their 20%, adopt a digital-first approach, and move to become Infinite Sellers, they assume the role of guides rather than dictators, gently pointing buyers in the right direction at every stage of the process.

Tags: Revenue Transformation Technology Sales Methodologies and Processes Infinite Selling

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Mentor Group

Mentor Group

Mentor Group are a data-led sales transformation company, dedicated to helping organisations sell more often, for more money, faster than ever before.