• November 8, 2014
  • Mark LaCour
  • 2

The world of sales has changed dramatically in the Oil and Gas industry. Come learn about those changes and find out what works and what doesn’t.

Hey, folks. Let’s learn something new about the oil and gas industry.


All right. Today, we’re going to talk about how the role of a salesperson has changed in oil and gas. Twenty years ago when I got my start in oil and gas with a phone company in the East called BellSouth, part of being a good salesperson is you’re an educator, right? You went out and you actually showed prospects all the bells and whistles, right? Your products and services and features that you had. So, because they didn’t know what you had to offer them. And then you went to a solution sales type of position and then you end up closing deals. Well, that role has totally changed because of technology. So let’s talk about a couple of things.

Number one. Sales reps get involved way later in the process than they used to. In the old days, literally the sales process would start with that first client interaction with the sales rep. Now, our data shows that about 50% of the buying journey has been done by the time the client reaches out to you. So just need to understand that once you get involved, it’s much later in the process.

Number two. You need to provide good tools to help your clients make good decision, but don’t be overbearing. Because the clients have done their research and they understand the problem and they understand the portfolio of solutions out there, don’t come in to be a know-it-all. That just makes you look like a bad sales person. Come in and help fill in the gaps of their knowledge, provide tools but don’t be pushy.

Number three. Cold calling has changed. Boy, it has changed dramatically. We have a whole team here that does nothing but set highly qualified sales meetings for our clients’ sales teams. And in the old days that team would have been people basically dialing for dollars. That doesn’t work anymore. Nobody answers the phone, called with the numbers they don’t recognize because of caller ID, right?

We have voicemail, we have e-mail, right? There’s a lot of spam out there. So the process of cold calling has changed. Now, it’s effectiveness is still very high. When we get it right, we get about a 70% conversion rate. That means seven out of ten people we reached out to agree to be on our clients’ sales teams. But now, it’s much more about marketing, it’s about inbound lead generations about social media. The mix has changed, the process has changed, but cold call is still effective. Please understand that it’s not the same way it was twenty years ago.

And then finally, this is the one that we preach all the time. You need to be a problem solver, not a sales person. Nobody likes a sales guy that comes in and tries to push stuff down people’s throat that they don’t want. If the prospect you’re talking to doesn’t have a problem you solve, you need to go somewhere else.

And in oil and gas because it is so enormous, you need to figure that rather quickly, you could spend every day of the week meeting with highly qualified prospects in oil and gas and have budget and they will never buy from you because you’re not addressing the problem that they have. So you need to quickly eliminate those that won’t buy from you, so you can concentrate on those people that you can help that will buy from you.

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So, folks I hope this helps. We will see you next time.