The Future of Sales
Sales Management 10.31.2022

The Future of Sales

Subscribe and listen


How are sales changing now, and how can companies cope? This episode is jam-packed with information on tackling these questions. We welcome Bob Marsh to explain to us how consumers changed their preferences over a short time when it comes to sales and how businesses can go wrong in meeting this expectation. Listen closely as he explains the sound surround selling approach and how organizations can take advantage of this method. Tune in!

About the Guest

Bob Marsh is a keynote speaker and growth leadership expert who has spent his career building high-performance teams. As a salesperson, executive, and tech company founder and CEO, Bob has won business from the top brands in the world, raised millions in venture capital, sold two companies, and lives in the trenches as an active Chief Revenue Officer. In addition to keynote speaking, Bob is the CRO of Bluewater Technologies which is one of the nation’s leading audio-visual technology and live event companies serving clients including Rocket Mortgage, General Motors, Forbes, and hundreds of others. Bob has brought his message to audiences at events including Dreamforce, SaaStr, Sales 2.0, and HubSpot’s INBOUND and has been published by Fast Company, Inc., and the Harvard Business Review.

Connect with Bob Marsh

Key Takeaways

  • 80% of customers prefer the new way of working with salespeople, which is through video calls and flexibility.
  • Sales and marketing need to be aligned to engage with the customer in a new way.
  • Customers often defer decisions because they are not sure if they are making the right choice.
  • Understanding the emotions of a customer and helping them get confidence to make decisions is an important part of the surround sound selling approach.


“There [are] many companies that have to get through this hurdle of better alignment between sales and marketing. I think one of the most fundamental things needed to happen is you’ve got to get those teams working together more often…  The more you can get those two teams in the same room, having good conversations together, suddenly you’ll start seeing those barriers falling.” – Bob Marsh

Highlights from the Episode

Can you tell us a little bit about your journey?

Bob started in retail sales during college at a golf store. His manager told him that he was the best salesperson he had ever seen. However, Bob never felt like he was selling anybody anything and just loved talking about golf and figuring out the needs of the clients. The approach of helping people solve problems made him interested in going into sales. After college, he worked with Xerox in the late 90s and started a web development marketing company. Next, he joined ePrize, where he learned about company growth and ways to stand out in the market. Bob started LevelEleven – a SaaS-based sales management system – where he got into speaking mainly to build the brand. In addition, he is the Chief Revenue Officer of Bluewater.

Let’s dig into the future of sales. Sales have changed so much in the last 5-10 years but definitely since COVID-19. Where do you think the future of sales is going?

Change is happening in different ways in our lives. The amount of change over the last couple of years is almost like compressed 15-year progress. Part of the challenge is realizing that customers are thinking buyers – the expectations in the buying process are changing faster than how sales organizations are adapting. 80% of customers say that they have no interest in working with salespeople. The old process does not move fast enough. Moving forward, organizations should embrace the idea that customers are now demanding that salespeople become more experts in advising customers on making the right decisions.

With the digital revolution, leading customers through the buying journey has changed, and having sales and marketing aligned is more important now than ever. What do you think about this? And any best practices people should think about when leading customers through this process?

Now, success in the marketplace requires good sales and marketing alignment. Bluewater needed to make the transition from serving demand to creating demand. This entails understanding the complete customer journey and knowing what is needed in the marketing team. To be on top of the marketing funnel, educational content is key. Marketing supports the company through content and materials, consolidating confusing information into something comprehensible to make it easier for customers to make their decisions.

What is the new way customers want to buy, and how do we adapt as sellers?

Getting someone’s attention and leading them to learn about your business is through genuine advice, ideas, and stories. Skilled salespersons figure out how to keep the conversation going. It is vital, especially in today’s remote setup. Information is all around, and customers can be overwhelmed. However, at the end of the day, all they want is to make good choices. This is the seller’s opportunity to take the role of helping customers consolidate all the information and make them digestible.

How do we take marketing content and make it relevant to our customers? Do you have any tips?

Sit with your marketing team, go through the available content, and find different pieces that are relevant and helpful to be added to the inventory. The key is to have go-to pieces that resonate and are purposeful. In addition, companies must consider what kind of content they want, ensure to open line of communication and establish trust in the relationship among team members.

Tell us something about the surround sound selling approach.

In the sales world, a lot of things can happen within a day, and opportunities may appear spontaneously. Some people may call it luck, but staying connected with the customer matters. Bob looked at this as a way to surround them with the brand – with your message and emotional support. It became a keynote speech involving elements such as how to place your message anywhere the customer turns, understanding their emotions, helping them get confidence in making decisions, and understanding where they stand. The key is to make the customer comfortable with taking the next step. 

different ways you need to kind of surround your team members as well. So this this 

For companies that don’t have that approach yet, what are some of the few things that they can do to start adapting that approach?

Many companies have to get through the hurdle of establishing a better alignment between sales and marketing. The teams must be working together more, and everyone should be in the conversation. The more they do so, the more you see barriers falling.

Is there a book, blog, newsletter, website, or video that you would recommend to our listeners?


David Primer – Founder & President of StrataQuant

Demandbase image

Sunny Side Up

B2B podcast for, Smarter GTM™

This article was published in:

More like this
Demandbase image
Demandbase image
Demandbase image
Demandbase image