This blog post is an excerpt from our Free eBook: Is Sales Dead.
If you talk to anyone who has been in sales for twenty years or more, they’ll tell you the profession has changed drastically. Technological advances have accelerated change to a rate faster than we have known before, and these days some of the biggest challenges facing older organizations is shifting internal processes to keep up with the times.
Don’t like social media? Tough luck. If you are in sales you’ll have to get used to using it. So called “social media” is one of the hottest business tools out there for the 2016 salesperson, and that’s true for just about every industry—not just B2C.
Most of you are already on top of it. We conducted a survey to see what tools sales professionals currently use, and lots of you named social media. It’s not just marketers who are using Twitter, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Instagram, Medium, Reddit, and every other communication network available to reach customers. Our survey targeted salespeople and asked them about their work-related behaviors. Ninety percent said that they used social media as a sales tool, and more than 80 percent used LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.
Recognize Consumer’s Knowledge
Once upon a time, if a customer wanted to know how much a product cost they would have to contact a salesperson. Nowadays they look it up online. Your marketing department hopefully already knows this, and they are communicating with your customers as they should be.
In fact, research indicates that one way to guarantee to annoy a prospective customer is by not listing pricing information online—especially in B2B sales. Customers want to compare products online these days, and pricing is a key piece of information that lets them do that. When they know the price, they can plan ahead—allowing this will actually result in a more committed prospect by the time they reach you.
Work Alongside Marketing
Previously, marketing would have been a relatively small section of a prospect’s buying cycle right at the beginning.
Nowadays, marketing is informing your prospect much further into the buying cycle. By the time they reach you, they already know the good, the bad, and the ugly.
Your prospects have moved further up the buying cycle themselves before they come into contact with sales due to the copious amount of online information they are privy to. According to LinkedIn, buyers are up to 90 percent through the purchase process before they contact your sales team.
Buyers already know about your product because they’ve Googled it, been on the website, looked at reviews on Amazon and asked about it on Reddit. By the time that they speak to sales, they are way down their buying cycle. You don’t have to tell them what your product does, or why they need it.
You need to help them make the best choice available to them at the current time. As a salesperson, you’ll be the one to add that value and make your prospects life easier.
Want more? Download our Free eBook on 2016 Sales.