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The Modern Toolkit for Your Sales Force - It's Smaller Than You Think


That was then, this is now.

We want to make a difference in our sales teams' ability to connect with the customer, raise awareness of the business challenges we solve, and build long lasting, profitable relationships.

We are sales leaders, history buffs, and curious about our futures at our startups. What keeps us up at night? Are we “over tooling” our sales force because of the demands of the 21st Century Selling Process?

Sales leadership from world's largest companies to the newest startups are all saying the same thing when it comes to sales effectiveness, “I am concerned about adding too many feathers (technology) to the sales representative's quiver.”

I decided to look at my own career and the technology that has influenced it:

Up top: The picture above depicts two different types of sales representatives, everything is different, including the obvious - age! One thing that is not as clear is the sales representatives pictured above are actually my wife and I with a decade of time separating the images. We are sales representatives that have worked for Fortune 300 Companies and have grown in our careers with massive change in our toolset. On the right, a picture of us a decade later, and today we live and breathe by technology to drive the customer experience in the sales process. In a short 10 years, everything has completely changed and yet we have more bandwidth for technology than ever before. Can sales reps handle more technology?

Down below: A historical account of all the things that have changed in 10 years of selling for me personally. I have listed 10 new technologies that I use today, that didn’t exist 10 years ago. I am always looking for the new tech to get the buyer's attention and create a better customer experience in the life cycle of the buying process.

Of the top 10 technologies and strategies that have shaped the last 15 years of selling, the shift away from using email for internal conversation is my favorite. I have listed my favorite technologies and strategies: they are truly game changing and very sticky.

This post is for the sales leaders who support their reps with technology. Enabling reps with emerging and innovative technology will allow them to truly succeed in one of the most transparent markets we have seen to date. Technology should not serve as an obstacle to sales, but as a path toward more efficient and productive employees.

That Was Then, This Is Now

No. 1

> THEN, I had "email" as a way to communicate with service, accounts, finance and the reseller network to get deals done....

> NOW, I use "Lua" and get results "In the Moment" without concerns on the delay of email....

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No. 2

> THEN, I had an “envelope card box” with my contacts arranged by month and action. Now it serves as my wine cork holder....

> NOW, I have "Salesforce1" to store all of my contacts and arrange them for calling campaigns.

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No. 3

> THEN, I had a fax machine to send and receive contracts which I really wanted to beat the $#*! out of on a regular basis....

> NOW, I send contracts out of salesforce via a beautiful little app called "Docusign" and I love it!

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No. 4

> THEN, I used to believe in ABC's of sales "Always Be Closing", & focused on dials, dials, dials....

> NOW, I now believe in Jill Rowley's "ABC's", only it now means "Always be Connecting"....

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No. 5

> THEN, I used a desk phone to make "70" outbound cold calls to drive new leadsand quota retirement....

> NOW, I use "Connect And Sell" for cold calling and I make 1,000 dials a day not "70"....

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No. 6

> THEN, I had business cards and distributed them out hoping that one in 100 recipients might call me....

> NOW, I have a "LinkedIn" profile and it actually produces leads and contacts for me....

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No. 7

> THEN, I used powerpoint for the pitch deck to sell back in the day and did well, but my customers never really enjoyed the experience....

> NOW, I use "clearslide" to liberate my customers from the shackles of a .ppt prezo

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No. 8

> THEN, I used an "elevator pitch" to convince people my products were worth looking into.....

> NOW, I use "rFactr" to share a digital message socially to win customer trust....

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No. 9

> THEN, I used "mail merge" to nurture my leads and handle the education process about our value proposition....

> NOW, I use "Marketo" to nurture the relationship....

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No. 10

> THEN, I sold to CEO's, CIO's, CMO's, and I focused on the big picture and what would come of a partnership....

> NOW, I sell to "Lines of Business" (LOB's) with Land and expand....


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