It’s a fact…change is inevitable. Even in sales.
The sales business in the 1950s was pretty well summarized by Frank Bettger in “How I Raised Myself from Success to Failure in Selling”. Bettger advocating that you find common ground and take the extra steps to get to know your prospects in a schmoozy, palm pressing manner.
Fast forward 60 years to today, and not many people are schmoozing their way to a lot of new sales. More likely they’re messing around with Facebook on their phones while you wait in the lobby for an appointment.
Fast Forward to Today
Today, technology plays a huge role in the type of sales a company gets, and today there is much more emphasis put on inbound marketing to draw customers to your company rather than doing things the “old fashioned” way.
And while a lot of good, time tested sales techniques are of course still valid, many businesses are choosing to adapt and include digital strategies in their tool set.
The way the customers learn about your company might be different too.
Instead of word of mouth or speaking directly to a salesperson, many people start their research on the web. They’ll check review sites, forums, your company site, and more. They will know almost as much about your company as you do before they commit to buying your product or service. Take a look at our recent book about digital selling which has more information in thus subject.
It makes sense to start focusing much more on the inbound marketing. This shift is making things difficult for traditional salespeople. Instead of hunting for new customers and courting leads, the leads can come directly to you. They will know quite a bit about the product or service you are selling too.
Focusing on Inbound Marketing to Increase Sales
Since customers are more likely to have information on what you are offering before you actually talk to them, you and the sales team do not have to keep pushing information about the product once the customers call and start a dialogue.
Instead, it’s time to ensure they have a good experience that addresses their specific needs rather than simply an overview of what you offer. This attention to their needs can help to drive sales and goodwill for your company.
How can salespeople do this?
Find out what most customers want and need, and make sure they have answers to address those needs.
The more your salespeople can learn about the customers the better and you can put this knowledge to use when you are selling. This helps them provide a personal experience and to develop a stronger relationship with the customer. By creating better experiences for the potential customer – without the high-pressure sales tactics – it makes those customers more open to buying.
Getting More Information
Of course, many salespeople out there are wondering just how they can get more information on these customers during their early interactions.
One good option, according to an article on Hubspot, is an app called Signals. The app works in Google Chrome and works with a variety of different tools. It has the potential to give you quite a bit of info about leads.
You can find out when they open and receive emails you’ve sent, when they return to your website after you thought they’d gone cold, and more. All of these little things, along with the research you do on your customers, can help to give you more insight into the customers, making this app well worth considering.
Think as the Customer
To make your business friendlier and more approachable from a sales perspective, think as a customer who comes to your site or calls the company.
What would you want from a company you are approaching?
You would not want salespeople calling you and emailing you all the time and you don’t want them to tell you things you already know.
You don’t want smarmy, high-pressure tactics.
You want good service and you want the company to answer the questions you have.
Make sure your company can offer this to your customers.