It wasn't long ago that sales could be defined using words and phrases like, "revenue first," "always be closing," and "sales scripts."
In today's world, those words and phrases look more like, "customer first," "always be helping," and "individualized coaching." Today, superstar salespeople take advantage of some amazing technology that allows them to have a significant advantage over their sales counterparts who still practice the traditional tried-and-true sales methods of the 20th century. These modern-day sales warriors use what we call lead intelligence to maximize their selling effort.
This advantage makes an amazing difference in sales performance and it’s worth taking note.
Changing the Selling Game
Many of the sales fundamentals of the 20th century still apply, but with the advancement of technology and the use of email, social media, and video, some significant changes have allowed salespeople to improve and deliver more performance.
Not all sales organizations have completely embraced this new ability to have superior lead intelligence, but those that have are reaping the rewards. Yes, a lot of the sales process is still fundamentally the same, but some advancements are worth taking a serious look at.
Old School Selling
Salespeople did cold calling phone jams two to three times a week for 60-90 minutes at a time.
Salespeople called prospects during scheduled call sessions.
Salespeople interrupted prospects to persuade them why they should meet with the salesperson based on something the salesperson hoped would be of interest to them.
Salespeople prepared for meetings based on the category of business that the prospect was in.
New School Selling
Salespeople follow up with leads and prospects who have shown interest in a product and service because they have either asked for help or downloaded information about something that interested them.
A salesperson's initial phone call is well received; it is timely and valuable to the prospect, because the salesperson calling is helpful about the topic the prospect is interested in.
Meetings are well prepared for, and the prospect actually looks forward to the appointment. The sales rep is ready with information the prospect has shown interest in.
Salespeople now know if and when their sent emails are opened as well as if the links included in the emails are clicked.
Salespeople can see if their sent proposals were read and shared with colleagues at the prospect’s business.
The way that client's buy has completely changed and what worked last year is sales, is not what works today. Strong salespeople today realize that they need to be armed with information, but before they even make contact — they need to help guide their prospects and client's through their buyer's journey.
Editor's Note: This blog was originally published in November 2017 and has since been updated.