We are about one-third of the way through the year already — how are your sales going?
Whatever your answer, I am sure you would love to increase them. This takes smarts, good training and coaching, and lots of motivation. It also requires staying abreast of developments in sales, especially in regards to technology. Who would’ve thought just a decade ago that you could access your entire pipeline, manage an existing client database, set appointments, send e-mails, and even video chat with customers via a mobile phone?
It’s extraordinary how far we have come. It is even more extraordinary to think of what is on the horizon. Our two quick sales tips for 2013 involve a couple of future trends we at Asher Strategies think salespeople should be paying attention to and preparing for now.
The death of cold calling
Cold calling is going to become less viable as time goes on. As Geoffrey James explains in this Inc. article on future sales technology, some of the reasons include:
- Voice mail is ubiquitous and provides an automatic gatekeeper
- The “Do Not Call List” in the US severely hampers the ability to reach anyone at home or on their cell phone
In addition to the above, most smartphones have caller ID and call blocking, giving owners the ability to avoid talking with anyone they do not recognize or simply do not wish to talk to.
B2B telemarketing is currently affected less than B2C, as business numbers are exempt from the DNC list. With many business owners using only personal cell phones these days, however, even they might be increasingly hard to get a hold of.
The first of our quick sales tips for 2013 is therefore: Master other prospecting methods, such as networking, social media, and content marketing. This doesn’t mean give up cold calling entirely, but invest time in learning other skills.
Big data will trickle down into every sales activity
“Big data” is one of those buzzwords many wish would go away, as they haven’t really seen much impact in their profession despite all of the hoopla. Well, marketing and sales jobs are about to be turned on their heads thanks to advances in data analysis, which is really what big data is all about.
Business2Community contributor Dustin DeTorres shows how Big Data might apply to sales work in this article. In brief, Big Data will allow you, the salesperson, to have unprecedented access to information about your prospects, including things like:
- Dining habits
- Browsing habits
- Shared connections and friends
- Real-time location and activity
- Political and religious affiliations
While the above might seem like it is far-fetched or an invasion of privacy, Google has been engaged in storing a lot of data on its users over the years, with user opt-in, all with the aim of better contextual ad targeting.
The second of our quick sales tips for 2013 is: Learn to make sense of Big Data for use as a prospecting and marketing tool.
I hope these two quick sales tips for 2013 have been thought-provoking. While no one can predict the future with much accuracy, sales technology will definitely keep progressing at a fast clip. Make sure you keep up!