I met with a very experienced sales person recently who had left his organisation after 16 years employed to go into business for himself.
Last time he had been self-employed was back in the late 90’s, and he had been highly successful, so expected to pick up from where he had left off.
Unfortunately, despite all of his experience and ambition, after 9 months in Sales and Business Development he is struggling because he hasn’t adjusted to how the ‘New World of Sales and Technology’ are aligned.
Technology has a tendency to evolve far quicker than people, and as customers become more tech savvy and organisations more dependent on technology, far too many underperforming sales people are still burying their heads in the sand and not embracing it.
So here are just some of the ways technology is changing organisation’s sales processes and the dangers of getting left behind.
Prospecting is Warmer Today
When the KONA Group was founded 17 years ago prospecting was basically getting a copy of yellow pages, picking up the phone and making a 100 telephone Cold Calls a day to secure 10 appointments.
Locating prospects that would meet with you, never mind prove to be profitable, was a challenging task to say the least, and not for the faint hearted!
However, with the introduction of new technologies, sales people have access to a wide range of customer information online that will turn a Cold Call into a Warm Call, as long as they are willing to use it! (Check out 427 Reasons Why Cold Calling is Not Dead)
Sales people and Sales Managers who still see Linked In as a digital recruitment tool and somewhere to post their CV online in the hope that they will receive job offers need to smarten up.
While HR and recruiters might be interested in which school you went to and what tasks you have completed to keep your job over the years, your Linked In profile should be about what you do for your clients and customers, and the outcomes you have achieved for them.
What have you saved and reduced; increased and grown; improved and prevented, for your customers and clients? Then use that as the start of your profile (While not perfect, here is an example that highlights results and outcomes rather than day to day tasks https://www.linkedin.com/in/glenndobsonsalescoach).
How many recommendations do you have?
How many endorsements?
How many quality high level and influential contacts do you have (Note it is important not to treat Linked In like a 16-year-old who is desperate to be ‘liked’ would treat Facebook. While a minimum quantity of LI connections is important, quality must be the focus).
Check out some of the profiles of your colleagues/team. How many are Customer Centric and how many are just Online Resumes?
Build a Profile
When a potential supplier calls a prospective Decision Maker, you can often hear the sound in the background of a key board tapping, as the prospect types the caller’s name into Google.
Immediately Gatekeeper Filter # 1 occurs as the Decision Maker starts to check out your credibility as they want to know what differentiates you from the crowd.
If you can only be found by a weak Linked In profile (and God forbid a few drunken images of you at last month’s Bucks/Hens night) then straight away you are potentially self-sorting yourself out of the mix.
Build a profile with links to updates, articles, blogs, videos, opinions and lots more, all relevant to your target market. Create links to Industry Websites and join Industry Groups then contribute.
Big Data is in the Lead
In today’s business environment, the more you know about your customer and client’s market, the better your chances of winning are.
Big data has bridged that gap and successful sales teams are embracing it for good reason. The sales advantage they can get depends mostly on their ability to capture, manage and evaluate that massive amount of information without getting overwhelmed in the process.
This is where technology that can process big data comes into the picture. Using analytical tools that are designed specifically for this purpose, your sales personnel can get Customer Insights into the buying behaviours of your target clients.
What was once a labour-intensive task can now be completed in minutes as now your staff can prospect for potential leads without waiting ages for the results.
Customer Insight Analytics can also help your business determine exactly which customers should be targeted and how to use their profiles to your advantage.
The ability to do so can help you determine which ones are similar to one another and which ones respond best to certain marketing campaigns or messages.
In other words, it will allow your sales team to focus their efforts to get fast and accurate insights on what customers are doing. It will also help them in creating activities that can attract more customers.
Cloud based CRM Technology
Gone are the days when Sales Pipelines only had a narrow window to qualify customers with. With Customer Relationship Management solutions, they are now able to acquire a bird’s eye view of their relationships by integrating sales, customer support, distribution and marketing tools.
Cloud based CRM solutions are designed to take Key Account Management to a completely new level to provide fast and accurate insights on what customers are attracted to and when they are most likely to make purchases.
With upgraded and relevant information at their fingertips, your sales team will be a force to be reckoned with as long as the people who are expected to use it, i.e. the sales team, are involved in the selection of the CRM and not just left to the Marketing Department and IT people to make the choice.
And the outstanding thing of Cloud Based CRMs such as Pipedrive is that they won’t break the bank and can start from as low as only $20 a month.
Sales People and Sales Managers don’t need to be ‘propeller heads’ and understand how every megabite, encryption, hashtag, ping, router, VoIP, etc works.
However, they must adopt New Sales Technology quickly before they are left behind and replaced.
If you are looking to increase the effectiveness and results of your Sales Team, contact KONA today on 1300 611 288, text 0425200883 or email email@example.com to discuss how we can help you to improve your organisation’s results.
In addition, if you want to receive a FREE Sales Capability Assessment for your organisation, email The KONA Group today on firstname.lastname@example.org
The KONA Group trains and coaches 1,000s of Sales People and Managers a year and is Australia’s Leading Sales and Sales Management Training and Coaching company and provide customised training programs that include: Sales Training & Coaching, Key Account Management Training, Call Centre Training & coaching, Negotiation Skills Training & Coaching, Motivational Speakers, and more.