There is a fundamental shift in sales today; and your competitor knows it. Old marketing methods are producing old results. It obviously isn’t working the way it used to.
There is a gold rush for education as companies scramble to sell to a more knowledgeable buyer. Smart marketing and inbound marketing principles are beginning to move into traditional markets. This leaves a narrowing window of opportunity for brands to get onboard.
Smart companies are changing their websites from simple online brochures to complex marketing platforms that display contextual content based on the individual visitor.
Yes, your website could be your single-most powerful sales person. It never sleeps, gets sick, takes vacation, or has a bad day. It is able to service hundreds or thousands of prospective customers, browsers, or long-time customers at the same time, giving them the information they are looking for at that precise moment of time.
Automation within your Sales Cycle
Many sales professionals instinctively shy away from “automation”, their relationship with the customer is often what closes sales. Negative experiences with “sales automation” is often based on improperly designed systems. However, a strategic system – using the expertise of the salesperson – can be injected in key places throughout the sales process to keep the prospect moving through the sales funnel. We would never advise a 100% automated sales system be put into place, but one that helps the salesperson be more efficient and filter the hot leads from the lookie-loos.
Social Media + Influence
It is no secret that social media has equalized the voice of brands and consumers. The power no longer belongs to Big Brands who are able to buy their way into positive perception.
Off-line, a dissatisfied customer may tell 6-10 people (primarily “non-influencers” like friends or family) of their experience. Whereas online, they and reach thousands of people in minutes – thousands of people which likely include influencers in the industry. Take that a step further and imagine that your competitor is wise enough to be listening in your space. Your disgruntled customer may now be their best brand evangelist.
This is powerful stuff.
Social Media + Sales Teams
A recent study found that socially-savvy sales teams outperformed peers not using it by a whopping 73 percent.
Sales teams should embrace social media to break the ice with prospective customers, cultivate warm leads, and watch for emerging opportunities. Social media is such a powerful listening tool, teams should be clamoring to embrace technology that allows them to have a more personal connection with the client on the other end of the transaction.
Effective use of social media shortens sales cycles and wins more deals.
Resources to Make Your Sales Team More Social
- Tips On Using Social Media as Your Secret Sales Weapon (HootSuite)
- The Salesperson’s Guide to Sending Prospects the Right Content at the Right Time (HubSpot)
- The Birth of the Social Sales Force (Social Media Explorer)
- Building a Lead Generating Machine for your Sales Team (Collaborative Growth)
Smart companies take notice: context, education, and genuine relationships are the pillars of sales from this point forward. Your greatest competitive advantage is time. Choose today to adjust the way your company relates to your customer.
Your competition may have already started.
If you would like help integrating social media into your sales process, I would love to help. Check out my consulting page to setup an appointment.