Vital Sales Skills and Technology for the Digital Age

April 24, 2013


The Internet and mobile device explosion have changed the sales profession, adding a few must-have sales skills to the modern salesperson’s repertoire.

While an entire book can be written on this subject (and be outdated in six month’s time), here are two vital areas that are surprisingly still neglected by a lot of salespeople.

Know How to Navigate Social Media

Even if you don’t like to Tweet or update a Facebook status, maintaining a social media presence is an increasingly important sales skill. Social media helps establish credibility, and credibility is extremely important to web prospects who might not be familiar with your brand.

If you don’t have the time to develop social media posts yourself, you might choose to delegate it internally or hire an outside expert. If neither of these are feasible, then at the very least reserve your brand’s Twitter handle or Facebook Fan Page names lest a similarly named company or prankster/critic claims these first.

One tool which can help make social media a bit easier to handle is Sprout Social, which allows you to auto-schedule posts on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. In addition, it provides analytics and even keyword monitoring for your company to find out what people are saying about you on social media channels.

Employ Video Conferencing

Having trouble getting through appointment via phone? Video conferencing and video chats are still quite novel for the everyday B2B salesperson, but if you can make it painless for a prospect to join you for a video call, you can expect a better response rate than trying to get a face-to-face or phone appointment.

Tips:

  • Send an e-mail or LinkedIn message asking them to join you for a very brief video chat.
  • Ask for 5-10 minutes, and don’t go over this time. Keep your first meeting brief, to the point, and as engaging as you can.
  • Use whatever platform you are comfortable with so you don’t have any technical glitches. Most corporate people are familiar with GoToMeeting, but don’t be afraid to use things like Skype or Face Time if the client understands those platforms better.
  • The goal of the video call is a face-to-face meeting where the deal can be closed. Of course, if you can close during the first video call, do so!
  • If a face-to-face meeting is impossible, then schedule a longer, more formal video conference, where you can have multiple attendees, share slides, videos and documents on a more robust platform, like Skype Premium, ooVoo Pro, WebEx or Adobe Connect. If your normal sales skills, — such as listening and handling objections — are present, you stand a good chance of being able to close here.

Video conferencing can increase B2B sales — take advantage of this technology.

In closing, keep in mind that although technology gives us great new tools every few months, none of these replace the basics of human communication and salesmanship. Study the basics first with real sales training, and then use technology such as social media and video conferencing to advance to greater sales success.