You’re in sales. You’ve got a product to sell. Boom. Done. Then on to the next deal. Your technique? You use the sales enablement tools your company has spent millions on to help you be more productive. At least that’s what your organization hopes is happening.
Are any of your customers involved in corporate spinoffs? Sales and marketing people are always advised to keep an eye on potential mergers and acquisitions among their customers, but we don’t usually talk about spinoffs.
If you’re like most people, a networking event or cocktail party filled with unfamiliar faces does not top of your list of favorite activities. Have you ever skipped a conference networking reception in favor of room service and a movie? I have. Most of us dread these gatherings because conversation is typically dull, repetitive and at worst, awkward. “What do you do?” “Where are you from?” “What do you think of the (insert team name) chances this season?” We’ve all been there.
There’s no escaping the fact that we live and conduct business in a social world. Harnessing social technology is clearly now a mandate for sales. The consumer sales ecosystem has known this for years. But how are B2B, and in particular enterprise B2B sales teams succeeding with social selling? While companies like Oracle and IBM are implementing social selling programs with great success, social selling evangelist Jill Rowley, in an article in ZDNet, says that most companies are actually in the infant stages of social selling as a concept, with the majority of firms only leveraging social media in random bouts and not training their sales staff to effectively exploit the network.
LinkedIn is beyond amazing. Those who remember what it was like before LinkedIn know that it has transformed so many aspects of business, especially recruiting and sales. When people complain about the shortcomings of LinkedIn, it brings to mind this hilarious Louis CK clip about people complaining about the miracle of in-flight wifi.
You wouldn’t use a CRM to court a potential romantic partner. So why do you rely on so much to build a sales relationship?
Have you heard the one about the veteran sales manager – the one with at least 25 years of experience -- who remembers the days before e-mail, text messaging, smartphones and the Internet? Concerned about his team’s lackluster sales performance, it suddenly dawned on him how quiet his sales department was.
A career in sales can be very lucrative. So much so that many people try their hand at it at least once in their careers. Yet if success in sales were easy, everyone would be a sales star. Anyone who has ever tried sales--or managed a sales team--knows this is definitely not the case.
In sales there is constant pressure to land newer, bigger customers. While acquiring net new customers is important, you may be leaving money on the table by neglecting to grow sales with the customers you already have.
As salespeople, we don’t like to think of ourselves as solicitors. We are providing solutions that we truly believe in (or should anyway), and know that what we have to offer could benefit every prospect on our list. Our solutions are essential, valuable, and often, a game-changer for our customers. But to the executive on the other end of the phone who is not familiar with your company or your solutions, you are little more than an annoyance.