How has social media changed my approach to sales training?
I consider social networks an essential sales tool. Many sales people wish that social media will make cold calling go away – it won’t, but effective social networking skills are increasingly important. Here is why…
Reason #1: Voicemail
- Sellers have made the telephone a tough way to accomplish business development efforts. Too many calls from too many sellers.
- Buyers have turned their phones off (more or less) and allowed voicemail to act as their gatekeeper. Many sellers have not adapted to this yet – and continue to pound the phones looking for the needle in the haystack.
- Sellers need to incorporate a voicemail marketing strategy. Embrace vm, it is not going away and will not be overcome by endless calling.
Reason #2: The Internet
The role of the seller has changed because buyers can leverage the Internet to find out much of what they need about a vendor, product or service without speaking to a rep. Therefore…
- Sellers who focus on product will struggle vs. sellers who focus on business requirements.
- Product knowlege is important, but consulting skills are what is needed to get the job done nowadays.
- Sellers are valued by buyers when they help find better, unanticipated answers to challenges – better than buyers would have arrived at on their own.
Sellers Need Social Networks
The phones won’t get the job done like they used to and your market initiates buying cycles through information available via the internet – so sellers need to be online too. Sellers need to be available and able to respond when a buyer reaches out.
Your market is already there online – this is the point I reiterate with brands as well. Just like any brand, sellers need to be participating, observing and engaging in these communities. The role of the Seller has changed – from product focus to business analyst. Similarly, sellers need to change their business development activities – from prospecting to networking.