The first month of this year has whizzed by and our lives are back in full-force after the holidays. By this time, we’ve most likely forgotten our New Year’s resolutions (sorry diet it was nice knowing you), probably already need a vacation (Hawaii anyone?), and are getting serious about hitting our sales goals for the year (Club, I see you).
We’re seeing plenty of doom and gloom about the future of work, specifically sales. Forrester forecasts that in the US alone, 1 million B2B salespeople will lose their jobs to self-service eCommerce by 2020. That’s 20% of the B2B sales force. Gone. Three years from now.
InsideSales.com, in partnership with American Association of Inside Sales Professionals (AA-ISP), recently released its annual research paper, “Top Challenges of the Inside Sales Industry 2016.” Here’s what you need to know.
Did Death of a Salesman have to end with the death of the salesman? Could the most famous failed road warrior in literary history have been saved? Willy Loman, the central figure in Arthur Miller’s famous play, is a tragic character who’s brought down by his delusions and broken personal relationships. However, he’s also a victim of the selling techniques of his time. A different approach to sales could have led to a very different outcome for Willy. Here’s how social selling would have addressed the issues driving him to destruction:
Sales performance is defined by results, and results are defined by the metrics you measure. But which metrics are most important? There are dozens of key performance indicators (KPI), including revenue quotas, network size, influencers reached, deals closed, prospects found, and more. The list goes on.
As any sales rep knows, not all prospects are built the same. Some are clearly one-time clients stymied by small budgets; others may walk away after months in the pipeline. Others have an even bigger flaw: they have very little influence on their network. That means that despite the time you put into cultivating the relationship, their business is essentially a dead end.
The traditional sales funnel has changed. Old news, right? You’ve heard that before and you’ll hear it again, but do you know what’s really driving the shift away from the typical top-down funnel toward today’s dynamic, efficient funnel?
Every salesperson knows the “ABC’s” of selling—always be closing—but there’s another sales acronym that gets far better results: KISS—keep it simple, stupid.
As technology and buying behaviors get more sophisticated, it’s easy to forget that the simplest sales techniques are still often the most effective—for example, active listening works just as well online as it does in person. To help your sales team recalibrate and get back to basics, here’s a look at a few time-tested methods for social selling in an increasingly complicated marketplace.
The buzz: “To thrive in this new age of hyper-change and growing uncertainty, it is now an imperative to learn a new competency—how to accurately anticipate the future” (Dan Burrus) | Your Social Selling Journey and Change Management on Changing the Game with Social Selling, Presented by SAP | VoiceAmerica - The Leader in Internet Media
Mike Derezin, vice president of sales for LinkedIn Sales Solutions, says in an era in which social sellers realize 66 percent greater quota attainment than those using traditional prospecting techniques (a Sales Benchmark Index statistic), if you’re sales team doesn’t adopt social selling strategies, it may not be selling for long.
In a negotiation, 40% of people believe themselves to be cooperative and trustworthy—while they tend to view the other party as just looking for a win, according to research by management professor Karen S. Walch.
For as long as there have been salespeople, they’ve been one-upping each other on sky-high promises made to the customer. Many reps feel compelled to offer guarantees simply because everyone else is doing it or it’s the way the industry has always operated.
The best salespeople build strong relationships with their prospects time and time again. It’s a process that requires research, social skills, and regular interaction, which is why it translates so well to the world of social media.
Social selling tools are amazing. Automation is everywhere, CRM platforms are getting smarter every second (literally), and reaching thousands of influencers has never been easier. However, advancement isn’t the same thing as adoption.
What do you do when you need to get to a person or a company?
It used to be that when you needed to get through to somebody you didn't already know you had to pick up the phone and persuade that skeptical receptionist/gatekeeper. Remember the movie "Wall Street," when Bud Fox called Gordon Gekko for 30 days straight, each time trying to charm Gekko's secretary to put him through?
Gatekeepers can be pretty tough (besides, when Bud Fox did get through the gatekeeper to Gekko, he lost everything and almost wound up in jail. But we digress).
Cold calling is not dead -- but it is on life support. Sure, the cold call still has its place but, fortunately, we now have some other tools in our arsenal that make cold calls a lot warmer. Today, that means using LinkedIn (and sometimes Facebook and Google) to try to get to someone. And going in warm is almost always better than going in cold.
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