I never meant to cause you any sorrow
I never meant to cause you any pain
I only wanted one time to see you laughing
I only want to see you laughing in the purple rain
This blog isn't meant to cause you any sorrow. This blog isn't meant not to cause you any pain.
Allow me to take you back a few decades, the Thomas Guide was a sales reps best friend. It was the spiral-bound version of what our present day smartphone GPS accomplishes.
Remember carrying around both a pager and a cell phone?
How about taking photos and having no clue how they'd turn out?
All of this got me thinking...
Many sales leaders have their sales team still partying like its 1999
STOP LIVING IN THE PAST
Many sales leaders are still guiding their sales teams using the same techniques and methodologies they were using in the 1990's.
Traditional sales methodologies is what a vast majority of companies built their success around. Sales reps pestering the crap out of prospects in the forms of cold calling, tearing down doors, battling gatekeepers and other fiendish methods; all to do one thing - sell their wares.
Is this still happening in 2019, 20 years later?
Stop trying to create a new sales life with old thinking and habits. Every stage of your sales life will require a new you and a new way of thinking. Education has its levels and so does your sales life. You, as a leader, must learn to do better. Elementary thinking won't get your sales team the mastered sales life they deserve.
- Do you have your sales team doing phone jamming sessions two to three times a week for 60-90 minutes at a time?
- Do you have your sales team interrupting prospects to persuade them why they should meet with them based upon, "Can I swing by to introduce myself?" or "Can I save you money?"
The major problem with this grunt work type of tactics is it still exists. I'm not here to say traditional is dead and no longer has a place in sales but what can be done to enhance it?
Some traditional methods of prospecting wastes precious time and positions sales reps as the schleppers everyone tries to avoid like the plague.
In 1999, sales reps were taught skills dealing more with tasks than with purposes. They were trained based upon their levels of expertise around prospecting, influencing, demonstration techniques and a plethora of outlandish closing techniques. Telephone scripts, demonstrations scripts, objection handling scripts or "this is what you say when this happens" scripts; I cringe as I guarantee 1999 is still alive and well within many a sales team.
AN ANALOG MINDSET STILL EXISTS IN 2019
Analog sales leaders grew up in the analog age. You learned how to close deals before the advent of the digital age. Some of you still believe your sales reps not your customers are in control of the buying process. Some of you still believe your clients and prospects will flock to your sales reps if only they knew how great their products and features are.
I bet your sales playbook includes the art of pitching, more pitching and pitching even harder via email, banging the phone; all while spraying and praying all over your marketplace.
Some of you analog sales leaders recognize the need to use digital channels like social media. You may even tell your sales teams to use LinkedIn, as an example, to do nothing but connect with people then pounce and pitch with product.
The sad state is many of you won't invest in providing the necessary ongoing training around best practices or enhancing your sales teams sales skills.
"When push comes to shove, bottom line; it's all about more cold calls, more cold emails and more information about the product."
Traditionalist leaders can’t quite let go of traditional ways.
All this reminds me of Fiddler on the Roof and one word TRADITION!
DOES YOUR SALES TEAM OPERATE WITH A DIGITALLY DRIVEN SELLING MINDSET?
I'm a firm believer standing in between many sales teams and a digital mindset is analog centric sales leaders. Everywhere you turn, forward-thinking sales leaders are talking about innovation, the next big ideas and what they can do to future proof their sales team.
"What are you doing to future proof your sales team? Better yet, what are you doing to future proof yourself?"
What does it take to move your entire sales team from reluctance to relevance? It starts with you!
Social media, social this and social that... We're living through the biggest communications revolution as social has impacted our personal and business lives.
As a leader, you and your sales team operate within a digitally driven, highly networked and socially connected business environment; you must actually have to understand it, walk it, talk it and your sales team must integrate it into the sales process.
You must open the door of courage, set aside the fear, toss aside the ego and open the digital door to allow your sales team to grow and flourish.
UNLOCK YOUR MINDSET
Thinking digital is more than social media. Is it about the latest apps, sure? Is it about visual storytelling, yes indeed? Is it about the online reputation of your organization and your sales team, absolutely! The social interactions, insight and intent by your sales team or lack thereof will shape client expectations and outcomes.
Everything digital has dramatically shifted the landscape in the way you and your sales reps do business.
"Your future is created by what you do today"
You have the capability. It's the will do versus the can do. A smart digital savvy sales leader recognizes Twitter, for example, teaches sales reps more than how to write in 140 characters. It shows them how information flows in dramatically new ways to help them to socially listen.
LinkedIn has created a branding and engagement platform to positively impact the entire sales world. Instagram provides a platform of visual storytelling.
SOCIAL MATTERS IN SALES
Authenticity and transparency will become your sales teams' competitive advantage.
Influence and positive positioning on social platforms will greatly assist your sales team in opening up new conversations, new relationships and strengthening client retention. Its 2019, adopting a digitally driven mindset is critical to you and the entire growth of your sales team. You can’t rest on the sidelines and watch your competition outsmart, outwit, outplay and outsell you. You can’t tell your sales team digital matters and this is a top priority, if you fail to make it a top priority for you. Who then are you fooling?
If you want your sales team to adopt a digital mindset then you have to adopt one first. You can't expect your sales team to adopt it if you aren't willing to get in the trenches with them. Roll up the sleeves and become a digital sales leader. Your sales team and more importantly your clients will appreciate it. This means get up off the comfy couch of complacency.
"Your sales reps sell to a digitally driven buyer inside a digitally driven business world then why on earth do they continue to go to market with an analog sales mindset?"
Stop pretending! Stop pretending to do social. Please stop pretending period. You're either all in or you're not, relevant or non-relevant! Quit living in your past sales success and expect your sales team to succeed in the present.
What new tools and technologies are you willing to adopt to help your sales team eliminate potential roadblocks in building better relationships with their clients and prospects?
Meeting and communicating with your clients and prospects in their preferred choice of medium goes a long way in client retention and new business growth.
Fantasy Island no longer exists. The business climate, the sales climate and your surroundings have all changed. The time is now! It is 2019!
STOP LEADING LIKE ITS 1999
"I was dreamin' when I wrote this, forgive me if it goes astray but when I woke up this mornin' could have sworn it was judgment day"
Don't let not adopting a digital mindset become your sales teams judgement day!
I understand, I get where you all are coming from. Every day, I walk in your shoes. I am fully committed to helping your sales team integrate social aspects and modern strategies into your current sales process to grow new business. I want you to get results. This is why I am passionate about doing this the right way, the genuine way, the authentic way! It's about understanding value before visibility.
Selling From the Heart is making a difference! I poured my heart into every page of this book and I think you're going to love it. You can find it on Amazon in paperback and Kindle. You can click on the book image below and this will take you to Amazon.
You can find more material inside Selling From The Heart.
In a world full of empty suits, I'm passionate about helping sales reps succeed by getting valuable before they get visible. I help sales teams understand the true value they bring to the market.
I appreciate getting the opportunity to share my stories. Integrating the use of social and sharing my story on LinkedIn was my “game-changer” in the highly competitive office technology world. With great pride I transform, challenge, coach and inspire sales teams to grow new business by helping them share their story and how they communicate it out by integrating the use of social inside the sales process. You can follow me on LinkedIn, Twitter, Social Sales Academy and on my podcast by clicking on Selling from the Heart.