Technology Tantrums and Sales Nonsense We Try to Justify.
You need more than a glib personality and an honest-looking face to build outrageous sales growth in your organization. Heck, you need all the help you can get.
Buyers have access to more data than ever before. It may not be the right data, but it's out there and they are reading it. They are also reading about you - what people are saying about your product, how smart your tech dudes are, and maybe even how your stock is trending over the last 52 weeks.
But not to worry because the sales technology arena has blown up into a massive portfolio of wonderment - bursting at the seams with myriad customer relationship platforms, social selling tools, and sales enablement technology.
It's an endless stream of binary consciousness. Telling us what to think and when.
We even have labels like "triggers" and "events" that we can push into our technology systems and out pops the 14 most likely candidates that we should be pitching as soon as possible.
It's pure magic.
Until we realize that none of it matters when we've lost the key to the entire selling process.
Yeah, it's "old school". And somewhat less unsophisticated than positioning yourself as being anything less than down right "no-one-gets-anything-over-on-me" savvy.
But it's the epicenter of you doing amazing things.
It really is.
Whether you are building a business from the back of a napkin or growing a territory into a loyal fan base, there is no equalizer like you caring about what you are doing.
- You might think that using a robo-dialer to call prospects and then put them on hold until you pick up is a great way to maximize resources and reduce the costs of building out a sales force.
- You might think that buying lists of names in your target market and then bulk emailing them, while gleefully pointing out your 1.9% open rate, is a good way to expand the number of leads you add to the top of your funnel.
- You might think that using pre-populated email templates from your CRM is a good way to send out information to customers and a "drip campaign" is the best way to keep following-up with them.
And you might be right on some esoteric level. When you strip out the "people" part of the operation, you might be completely right.
But that's a silly proposition.
Because people are the only part of the operation that really matters. They are the ones who are going to provide you the inside scoop on your competitor's proposal, sign your purchase order, draft you a testimonial, and call you with a referral.
Not a piece of technology.
So maybe we need to stop pretending that technology is the silver bullet. Maybe we need to take accountability for the times that we drop the ball. Maybe we need more focus on who we "are" rather than how fast we can punch keys on a keyboard and get back data.
Buyers know that. They know if they are another "deal", or if they are a part of a relationship that matters.
And so while there is no magic formula for caring more, there are a few things to look out for. A few reminders to help you be a little more mindful about the people you are dealing with.
- Stop faking interest when it's really all about business. -- Stop asking about the wife, kids, and weather. That is, unless you really do care. Careful -- that awkward segue into your presentation let's the buyer know that their personal answers didn't really matter in the first place. It's was just you "warming" them up. You are in front of the buyer for a reason. Get on with it. Make a good use of your time. Stop trying to go for rapport off the bat. You just look foolish.
- Using technology to patch culture problems doesn't work. -- Internal communication platforms don't work when there isn't a culture of communication already. And you can make this assessment for just about any other platform that you might be using. Nothing cures passive aggression and a culture of selfish behavior. You need to solve people problems first and then introduce technology to make people accountable for new actions. You can't do it the other way around.
- A little emotional intelligence goes a long way. -- It's not just the facts you know that will end up accelerating your sales pipeline. It's the kindness in your tone. The patience in your way of doing business. Things happen. People have bad days. You're going to get called names and misunderstood. The way you react to these situations matters. It makes a big difference.
- What ticks you off probably does the same to your buyer. -- If you don't want a 13-page unsolicited email with "Buy Now!" offers strewn throughout, chance are that your buyer won't want that crap as well. Sure we're not all alike. But no one has a taste for nonsense. If you want someone to understand that you're busy or had a bad day, remember that when you talk to the guy on the other end of your deal.
Sales technology might be the difference between your success and a little more success.
But caring will determine whether you are successful or not.
And that's something you should care about.