We wish you the warmest of welcomes to our new online magazine, Sales POP! In this case POP isn’t just a word, it’s an acronym for “Purveyors Of Prosperity”: all of our content is aimed at empowering sales leaders, sales management, sales professionals and entrepreneurs to achieve new heights of success.
As a modern digital magazine, Sales POP! is multi-media and brings you written content, video, slideshares and infographics, e-publications and even free tools.
My name is Bruce Boyers, and I’m your editor-in-chief. A bit about myself: I am a freelance writer and a 20+-year marketing veteran. I’ve been writing for Pipeliner since 2013, one of the first people hired after founder Nikolaus Kimla moved the company to the US. During my career I have worked very closely with sales people, achieved an understanding of how they can best be assisted by marketing, and gained a keen insight into the innate and singular selling abilities they demonstrate day in and day out.
A Lot to Talk About!
With the changes taking place today, we certainly won’t be running out of content ideas for Sales POP! anytime soon. There is much to discuss when it comes to today’s sales landscape—for we’re living in a totally new era.
The line of demarcation between the “old” and “new” selling environments could probably be drawn at about 1995, when the World Wide Web really took off. As the Web has so radically changed all of our lives, so has it radically changed how professional buyers shop for products and services, how salespeople prospect for new customers, and how existing customers are serviced and maintained.
Change or Die?
Of course, part of this enormous change has expressed itself through something we’d yet to hear of back in 1995: social media. Today that’s where many buyers can be found—hence it’s where account managers must do at least some of their prospecting and customer interaction.
But should social media be the only place where salespeople should work? As is the case with any disruptive technology, there are sales pundits that have cried out for totally radical changes in sales techniques based on the Web and social media. It’s “change or die time” according to some of these folks.
Of course there’s the absurd extreme, the predictions that only support the latter part of that phrase—“die”—such as the one that said that a million B2B sales jobs will disappear by 2020, replaced by automation (Forrester). Fortunately many that supported such predictions have now seen how ridiculous that sounds and are furiously backpedaling.
The Tried and True
There are other experts who point out that the basics of great salesmanship worked 100 years ago, worked 50 years ago, work today, and will work 100 years from now. What has changed is the framework within which we are conducting sales—but such fundamentals as creating a relationship, discovering and addressing customer pain points, actually helping the customer, providing expert assistance, and continuing to care after the sale is made, still completely apply, both online and off.
So What Has Changed?
It’s true that we couldn’t be living in such a radically different time without it having some kind of effect on the selling environment—and so it has.
The area where this impact has probably been most heavily felt deals with the sheer volume of information available, both online and through today’s sales technology. For example, the amount of data to be discovered about products and services is enormous, and buyers are certainly seeking it out. The data that sales reps can find about potential customers, especially in the B2B arena, is also incredibly plentiful. There is also quite a lot of data that sales tools can provide sales management about rep performance.
If not properly assessed and evaluated, the volume of data in all of these areas can serve to do nothing but overwhelm. Hence the necessary effort today deal with the sorting and refining of this information.
Tools and Skills
A prospective customer can drown in the data available on a particular product or service. The best assistance that a prospect can receive is not from any technological aid, but from a sales rep. A salesperson today must be a total expert in their own product line and the market. The sales rep must then learn to ask the right question and discover the precise pain points for that prospect and the prospect’s company. Smoothly and honestly done, such tactics can and often do lead to a closed sale and a satisfied customer.
For sales managers and salespeople, a precision CRM solution such as Pipeliner serves to navigate through today’s complex sales landscape. With such a solution, leads can be rapidly qualified and converted to opportunities, and can be moved along through the stages to a close. With the right solution, sales management can zero in on the important factors of rep performance, and provide vital coaching and mentoring.
Okay…It’s Not Quite That Simple
As many of our contributing bloggers, interview subjects and experts will say, the above is a considerable simplification. In today’s sales arena, there is much more to explore, and many more details to flesh out. And that is why we’re here!
Feel free to explore our content from this page.
Let us know what you think of our new format, and what you would like to learn more about! You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.