This week Drift put out a cool blog on the history of sales technology, from the megaphone all the way up to modern ways of communication through our devices. It’s a great post, and I suggest you read it (after this of course).
The biggest shift that their post highlights is the change in the way people buy. For centuries selling involved shouting your message from the rooftops (literally and figuratively), trying to convince someone to buy your product. But as of recently, we’ve seen a dramatic change in the way people purchase.
With the amount of information available to consumers, shouting at potential buyers has become less and less effective. If someone is looking for a solution to a problem, they’ll likely google it. With some effective SEO, the right keyword targeting, and accurate product messaging, your product or solution should pop right up, giving the consumer a general knowledge of what you offer. Hopefully they then reach out to you to learn more – this is what we know as an inbound lead.
If your company has enough inbound leads to sustain your business, well that’s just fantastic. But what if you’ve got a product or service that’s relatively new, your SEO efforts haven’t come to fruition yet, or your company is relatively unheard of? Or what if inbound alone isn’t enough to sustain your business? I think you know where I’m going here: Outbound sales is not dead, and likely won’t ever die. However, it is still impacted by the change in buyer behavior, and sales teams across the country are adapting to the Sales 2.0 method. This is what we teach our candidates every day at LaunchSource.
Cold calling isn’t new, but the way we do it is.
As companies across the US are shifting from an outside to inside sales model, it’s important to keep in mind that the late 80’s – early 90’s approach to telephone sales will not work anymore. As sales professionals, we can be much more targeted in our approach. As buyers have become more aware of different products, sellers have also become more intelligent about their targets through technology like linkedin, mattermark, zoominfo, crunchbase, and many many more tools that help us sell intelligently.
With all these tools at our fingertips, we can now go into a call knowing that a potential customer is likely in some sort of pain. Uncovering that pain is the key to a good call. Sales is no longer about grinding out hundreds of calls a day to a purchased list of contacts. Instead it requires empathy and emotional intelligence for the buyer, intellectual curiosity to learn more about their situation, and a consultative approach.
Doing your research
To be empathetic and have an effective discussion, sales requires more research before each call. Instead of calling everyone in marketing at ACME about your new lead generation tool, you need to be able to identify your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP). A depth of knowledge about who you are calling, the decision making power they have, and the role they play every day allows salespeople to connect with a buyer. Simply connecting with someone about their pain will at the very least make them aware of your company and product. Even if they don’t intend on buying right away, there is a larger chance they check out your website and engage with you on 1-to-1 chat or other inbound marketing efforts.
My point here is that even if a call or email doesn’t result in immediate action, it will create awareness and potentially a purchase down the road. The key is creating a good, personal, empathetic connection with the buyer.
Discussing your product
Research also plays a huge role into how you pitch your product to every individual contact. Your Unique Value Proposition (UVP) should have an emphasis on Unique. Nobody cares that your product is just awesome, there are a lot of awesome things. You need to relay how it will be awesome for your buyer’s unique situation.
Our shameless pitch: become an early adopter.
LaunchSource has been teaching and evangelizing the Sales 2.0 method for 2 years. Every single one of our candidates goes through our training which includes crafting a UVP and identifying your ICP. It’s especially helpful for entry-level sales hires with minimal or no experience, and has resulted in a 50% faster ramp-up time, extremely low attrition rate, and more importantly, dozens of promotions within our client companies.
Up until recently this training has only been available to our candidates, but we felt we were depriving the world of a great product, so we’re making it available to everyone. Next month we plan on launching our new platform that allows all of your entry-level hires to ramp up quicker. We call it our Accelerated Ramp Up Solution, and we’re looking for a small group of early adopters.
If you or your reps are struggling with making connections with potential buyers, or you need to ramp up a group of “green” sales reps, sign up to become an early adopter below and help us continue to revolutionize the way sales is taught. Thanks!
Feel free to use our form, or contact us directly using our Drift live chat.
Try our Accelerated Ramp Up Solution!
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