The 21st century has opened an entirely new world of sales. The internet and our ability to engage through social media along with the time demands on decision makers has changed the way we need to sell to be successful.
Cold calling, emails and personal visits are producing fewer and fewer results. I can avoid you in all of those instances if I choose to do so.
The world of purchasing has changed as well. Like most of us who research our purchases online prior to making a decision, the same goes for our business customers. Buyers are now 57% of the way through a buying decision before we are aware of the opportunity, and 75% of them have researched potential vendors in that process.
That means we have to change how we engage in this brave new world.
Today our sales teams need to become experts in the process of “Social Selling”. If they do not, they do so at their own peril. There is one major change in the selling process however that too many companies overlook. While many understand that their sales and marketing teams must adjust, they ignore the fact that everyone in the company needs to be a part of the process.
Let’s use LinkedIn as a prime example. If I am researching a company and I search for your company in LinkedIn, I will get the people that have LinkedIn accounts in my search results. Have you ever examined what their profiles look like? I may not get one of your sales people. I may get your CFO or your HR manager profiles. Are they setting the proper image for your company? If not, I may eliminate you immediately.
Today everyone can participate in the sale process. They can be the conduit to a sale. Just like you want them to be good ambassadors for your company when they are engaging face to face with people, you also want them to be great ambassadors through social media.
Don’t overlook the importance of every employee’s ability and responsibility to support your corporate objectives. Teach them how to do it. Hire a company that can help you do it, but don’t ignore this strategy, this is the 21st century after all.