Is it just me, or do you also think sales reps need to take digital more seriously?
I have had a number of experiences where the sales team I worked with was convinced that social media and the gamut is only for marketing. When I tried convincing the sales rep that posting a short article on Linkedin would work great to position them as thought leaders and build trust with their prospects, they told me they’ll try to create time…. after they are done with the cold calling list.
Determined, I insisted that they didn’t have to take time to create a 1000-word article complete with an infographic. In fact, I reminded them that they already had these articles in their emails on the sent folder. “Each time you reply to a prospect’s question, you are creating content that could help another prospect buy your product/service. It’s really as easy as copy pasting your sent emails to Linkedin Pulse, Quora or Twitter, and waiting for the prospects to find you.”
“And how will that help us close sales?” the sales rep replied.
“Well, think about it like this, you have gala dinner coming up next month. You know you need a special pair of shoes for the event. You don’t have the time to spend a whole day shopping for the shoes, but you are sure a brief search online will get you a few vendors who have what you need.
So you Google; classy men shoes for gala. The results come in and of course the first 5 results are ads. Which you don’t trust because you are looking for something specific and unique. On the 7th result, there’s a blog from a personal stylist who’s reviewing the top five best shoes to consider when planning to attend a gala. It seems more credible, less salesy, so you click and read. Only to find out that the blog has an ecommerce section and the shoes reviewed can be found in the store.
Feeling informed and empowered, you head over to check the prices and you are pleased because they are worth every penny considering the benefits listed on the blog. Better yet, the reviews on the website assure you that they will deliver the shoes to your home in perfect condition. Does it get any better than this? You click buy and wait for your classy pair of shoes.
So where does cold calling fit in this story?
Because you are too busy blowing up people’s phone with annoying cold calls, spamming prospects and chasing for meetings, you are forgetting that the world has gone digital. You are also oblivious to the fact that the Kenyan millennial, who makes up a quarter of the population (and growing) is tech-savvy and prefers to shop online.
Therefore, if you do not position yourself as the ‘specialist’ or thought leader online, where you are answering your prospects questions and helping them buy where they spend and invest their time, you’ll soon realized that you are being ignored because your cold calls don’t add value, they only interrupt.
And before you start thinking this is just another rant from a marketer who got pissed off by the sales team, I might as well show the data.
The modern consumer is digitally driven, socially connected, and mobile empowered. Sales reps need to adapt or be replaced.
Fortunately, I found a helpful article on social selling. I hope you can spare 3 minutes From the cold calling to learn how to connect, build trust and foster sales online.
All the best 🙂