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.
All of his sales staff were there, and they certainly looked busy at their computers, but no one was actually talking to anyone. All of them were using technology to approach prospects: emailing them, following them on LinkedIn, and so on.
So the sales manager told them to get offline, pick up the phone and make something happen, and just like that, sales increased.
Are You Hiding Behind Technology?
The technology and tools available to salespeople today is nothing short of phenomenal. How phenomenal? Let us count the ways:
- Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software, apps and other tools make the job of keeping track of how you’ve touched a prospect, when, where, how often, and the results of your efforts very easy. Need to contact a prospect six months from now when he will be setting his new budget? Just enter it into your CRM tool of choice and it will remind you – with all your notes and history about this particular prospect automatically!
- Several marketing automation platforms exist today that help you grow your sales pipeline via highly sophisticated marketing automation and lead nurturing capacities.
- Different “cloud” software and tools allow you to collaborate virtually with prospects and colleagues in real time, without having to e-mail or mail a physical document.
- Social media allows you to stay in touch and connect with prospects and customers in a friendlier, “more personal” way than ever before.
- Providers such as AWeber, MailChimp, Constant Contact, and others allow you to send regular newsletters, notices of special sales and events, and so on via e-mail to customers and prospects. Automated text messaging tools allow you to text prospects and customers regularly with updates and/or special offers.
And that’s just to name a few.
Don’t Let Technology Become a Crutch
Let’s face it. Too many of us are lulled into a false sense of security by the technology available to us today. All of these cutting-edge sales and marketing tools allow us to touch our prospects in ways that were unimaginable a couple of decades ago – send emails, write a blog post, update our CRM, etc. – actions that we’ve been told are absolutely critical to making a sale.
But too often, technology gives us permission to avoid the harder work of picking up the phone and making something happen.
The One “Sales Tip” to Always Use?
Possibly the only thing that hasn’t changed when it comes to making a sale is this: do your homework.
You need to establish a relationship with a prospect. Whether you start on the phone, LinkedIn, email, or at an industry conference, you need to know as much about your prospect as possible so that you can tailor your approach to his or her specific needs, goals, challenges--and even personality.
So be careful not to view technology as a silver bullet; it’s only a tool that helps facilitate real, personal connections with your prospects and customers.
Get To Know Your Prospect
The more insight you have about your prospect – her career history, where he went to school, what challenges her industry is facing, what goals his company has for the next few years – the better equipped you are to establish an authentic and credible relationship.
You could spend hours trying to dig up scraps of information on your prospects, or search our database and instantly gain access to everything you need to know about your prospect with the click of a button. Our database is filled with hundreds of Fortune 500 executive profiles, providing you with biographical information, personal details, current business issues, and more.
Don’t take our word for it--take a look at some of our sample profiles and imagine how you can use executive insight to “connect the dots,” putting you on the path to building more authentic relationships, which will lead to more sales.