A few years ago, it became very clear that selling as we know it had forever changed due to digital marketing coming together into a system that allowed you to lead with content, to attract the market that you are looking to sell into.
To attract the market that you are looking for, and to not just lead with content and attract them but also transition people, who were attracted to that content into a sales funnel relies on a very systematic approach. And in particular, I would say about a few years ago, with some of the updates that have happened with a few of the advertising networks, this concept really has become something that everybody can put into action where you know you can take a step-by-step plan and execute it at your business. When that happened, it really did become necessary for us to update our usual sales systems because the way that we approached digital marketing modern sales in the past we do not do anymore. And that’s not to say that I would not do any of the old sales techniques that we used to, like cold calling and things like that we do not do nearly as much of those methods, and those would be last on the list of activities to pursue, after I had executed a content marketing and re-targeting strategy is what we’ll share in a few ongoing posts here.
So in many ways sales will never change, because sales is still about connecting problems with solutions. Trust is still absolutely critical, relationships matter and will always matter, and we must still manage a sales process to move people from awareness. Awareness of their problem, awareness of potential solutions to being a client, to being a buyer of our solutions. So the fundamentals of sales will never change. So it’s important that we always remember that. It doesn’t matter how high-tech and highfalutin and automated we get in some of these sales strategies. The fundamentals will always remain the same and if you are selling services to other businesses in particular, you’re always going to have to do things like get on the phone, go to some meetings, do some networking things like that. Those things aren’t going to go away, but what we can do is we can get the highest form of leverage to get us to those activities with prospects that are already pre-qualified, warmed up as much as possible, already view us as experts, already view us as authorities. So that we can minimize the amount of manual effort that we have to put into our sales process and that’s what this is all about.
Why Has Selling Changed in the Advent of Digital Marketing
So why has selling changed? Well people are attention starved. We have more and more forms of media. More and more ways of people reaching us. You know between the various social networks and various instant messaging platforms and e-mail platforms. People are getting bombarded and as a result are also getting better at tuning out unwanted interruptions from salespeople. They’ll take messages from their friends and family members all day long and very happily be distracted throughout the day by those but they don’t want to hear from salespeople and they are more in control of the evaluation process of products and services that they’re considering, and they are more in control of doing that evaluation on their schedule and I’m a real good example of this. Okay, there was a period of time in my career, let’s call it five years ago now, where if the phone rang. Well you’d picked it up, if an e-mail came in, you’d look at it and respond because those are things that you had to do. You had to pick up the phone when somebody called right? The phone was the ultimate form of urgency and communication and you would never let a phone just ring in the sales office without picking it up.
Don’t Call Me, I’ll Call You says the Prospect
About four years ago the cold calling diminished and most calls made went to voicemail outbound calling productivity slowed. And for the prospects receiving the voicemails from you, then they’ll just listen to voicemail once at the end of the day and get back to the people that they want to get back to. Same thing with e-mail, email is starting to be something where you start applying all of these filters, and the only check it twice a day and it became less critical to review and respond to my e-mail urgently because it is interruptions that require control and evaluation on a schedule. More and more people are doing this and they’re doing it primarily again with salespeople and sales messages. So we have to adopt, we have to allow people to discover who we are and discover our solutions and evaluate or solutions on their own schedule. Obviously do everything that we possibly can to influence that in our favor. Okay, so the great thing is, we now have new tools to reach them in the way that they want to be reached. People like good content, the consumption of good content online is continuing to just go through the stratosphere. In our next post we’ll cover exactly that.
Originally posted 2015-11-01 01:59:18.