Salespeople no longer rely on traditional ways of doing things to make a living. Door-to-door selling tactics are a lost art thanks to the 24/7 motif of online sales, targeted emails and predictive software. So how do the salespeople of today earn their commissions?
Salesforce.com has a virtual "flipbook" that depicts the evolution of selling tactics. The animation starts with a simple handshake and finishes with five points that lead to closed sales. The flipbook reads like a pixelated video game from the 1980s. The animation shows how to achieve good connected sales in the digital age.
Selling tactics involved combat in the "old days," according to Salesforce.com. A sales guy in a blue shirt, talks to a preppy prospect in a brown shirt. The prospect builds a red brick wall, or the sales defense barrier, between him and the sales guy. For a door-to-door salesperson, the front door is the barrier. A high price may be a defense barrier for a realtor or car salesperson. The sales guy proceeds to use a huge mallet, or a "blunt instrument," to destroy the wall in one move. The prospect either buys the item to get the sales guy to stop, or he runs away in a panic.
Then, the Internet becomes available on the flipbook. Prospects became informed, and salespeople had to adapt or lose revenue. Consumers started to research the best deals online, read reviews and do their homework without setting foot in a sales showroom. Suddenly, customers came to companies armed with more information than the salespeople. Commissions and sales became endangered, but then salespeople found new selling tactics to connect to prospective customers.
Armed with their own Internet, social media websites, mobile customer relationship management systems, detailed analytics and collaboration techniques, sales staff learned to use data to their advantage. Suddenly, sellers became just as informed as buyers, knowing exactly what the buyers needed. Sales staff only needed to connect to serious buyers rather than wade through a sea of prospects in a single store, which makes staff time more efficient. Salesforce.com notes "connected selling is informed selling." Instead of computers becoming a sales barrier, technology became a salesperson's best friend.
Mix traditional selling tactics with contemporary techniques by knowing what products you have and what your customers want to buy. In the online marketplace, that means streamlining your data and using targeted sales tactics to win customers. Get creative to stand out from the crowd, and avoid being too agressive.
Connected sales involve identifying new opportunities, producing earlier customer engagement, sharing relevant content, using all possible information, and collaborating to close the sale. Trends can point to new sales avenues, and thus greater revenue. Engaging customers sooner builds relationships. Content helps to inform customers. Making the sale is the most important goal for a salesperson, so do not be afraid to collaborate to achieve this goal.
You do not need to use guerrilla selling tactics to make sales in the digital age. Let your customers do most of the work and research first. Then, all you need to do is gentle nudge the customer towards the product to earn profits.
Photo courtesy of Stuart Miles at FreeDigitalPhotos.net