Wow! If you spend a few minutes surfing blogs on sales and internet marketing, you can get the feeling that sales people are dinosaurs… Here’s an example posting.
Its easy to get a bit myopic and assume that we (those of us reading and writing blogs) represent the majority opinion.
Since beginning this blog, I’ve made it a point to ask customers and colleagues if they “blog”. The answer is almost always no.
In a group of young people working for a technology company, only 1 out of 10 responded that they spend time reading or writing blogs.
At a networking group I participate in, I polled the group for blog participation and ended up having to explain what the heck a blog is in the first place.
And so, as we all write about the evolution of Internet marketing techniques that increasingly make the buying process a self-serve endevour, we see a trend that we’re a part of but, sometimes forget that its a trend that has yet to really grasp the mainstream consciousness.
The point here is that what’s written in blogs seems to represent our predictions for the future. To a large degree, we are all preaching about Internet marketing and sales automation because we have an interest in helping businesses do it.
In the meantime, most businesses are out there doing it the old fashioned way.
What I find most challenging today is to find a sales person that is comfortable with the rate of change in the marketing and sales processes in businesses. Most small and medium sized businesses are constantly tweaking their online marketing and purchase processes to try and get it right.
In the meantime, the sales rep can become numb to all of this. They just try to go about their daily lives and ignore the latest new fad from the tech guys.
What I’d like to find are sales people that have been around and closed some deals but, are technology oriented enough to be comfortable with a few twists and turns in the process every now and then. I’d really like the sales rep to bring me ideas. They should be asking their customers – “how can I make it easier for you to do business with my company?”.
I think the challenge for sales people today is not to pack up your bags and admit its over for one to one contact… its to open your eyes to the trends and the technology and make it your ally, not your enemy.