Sales, forward or backward?
Picture this. Back in ‘the good old days’, a salesman would knock door to door displaying the wares of which he sought to sell, chatting with his prospective clients and using every tactic he knew. As a result, he may have hit one in every 30 doors with a sale.
As time progressed and phones became more commonplace, telesales really took off, with the salesman able to gain access to buyers much more efficiently than ever before. Things changed, of course, and people got wise to cold calling.
Fast forward to the present day and cold emails have replaced the cold calls as the #1 way to coax decision-makers into a conversation that may just lead to a sales opportunity. Yet, you can never hold back technology. Nowadays, the junk folder reigns supreme – with rules set up to send external emails straight to the junk folder (another enemy of the salesman).
The question is, what’s next? How do companies tackle the inherent challenge of filling up the top of that sales funnel and drive prospects down to convert to new business?
How about events? Do you set up a networking party and invite all the hot-shots in the industry to cocktails hoping this face-to-face schmoozing will lead to a signature on the dotted line? Or are people wise to this tactic already?
What about networking? Do you leverage the network of colleagues to get introductions? Naturally this is a much less formal way of doing things and a great way of meeting people – but are people too protective over their relationships in case a deal goes sour and they get tarred with the same brush?
The thing of course to bear in mind: every man and his dog is thinking the same thing. How do you differentiate yourself from the pack?
Skilled and well-thought through marketing plays a massive part in helping your business to have a voice in the noise, but is this enough?
With the rise of AI, will there be a program that will curate the perfect email tailored to each individual recipient with the perfect hook, the perfect questioning and the perfect close? Will there be a central eBay style hub where people auction to win business?
If so, maybe we’ll see the permanent demise of the original salesman only for him to be replaced by the perfect Salesbot? Only time will tell.