Stop reading email, and start having conversations with your customers
Sales 2.0; Inbound Marketing/Inbound Sales; Sales Enablement; Cold Calling is Dead. Long live Cold Calling 2.0—you’ve heard the hype. Some of it’s true. Sales has indeed changed a great deal in a short amount of time. What’s also interesting about all the fuss around the ‘new sales model’ is that, well, there’s a lot of noise, and cutting through the clatter to get to the heart of the message can be a challenge.
Take sales software for instance. What new tools do sales reps actually use to get their job done more effectively. Salesforce would love you to say Salesforce, but the reality is reps like to spend as little time in, on or around Salesforce (sorry Marc it’s true). I could posit many reasons why that is, but the reality is that sales reps want to spend their time engaging and interacting with customers. Updating Salesforce with the bare minimum of information to keep their bosses happy is what most reps do, but the cloud based CRM is not a primary tool that most reps use to get their jobs done.
How to be successful in sales
Ask a successful sales rep what makes them effective in their job, and odds are they’re going to mention that being a good listener counts; or understanding the customer’s requirements is critical; and, of course being a trusted advisor to their customers is key. It’s a relationship based interaction. Ironically, the ‘R’ in CRM is often the one component that gets forgotten as companies scale.
LinkedIn, Twitter, email, phone calls—these are the tools that enable reps to build relationships with customers IRL. I’d add one more tool the list—AI-powered live chat because as most reps will acknowledge timing is also part of being successful.
Website chat has rapidly evolved, from a somewhat awkward integration that felt like more an intrusion on the customer’s journey, to something much more useful. The integration of artificial or assisted intelligence is something that makes chat really, ah, come to life.
As companies allocate more resources towards inbound marketing (thanks Hubspot), it only makes sense to engage the customer as quickly as possible once they’ve visited your website, and what could be more helpful than a friendly chat bot on your company site? Let me qualify that, a friendly and intelligent chat bot on your website.
As radical as this sounds, don’t make your customers fill out forms on your website. It may seem like a good idea because that’s how inbound works, but we’ve been asking customers to do that for 20 years, and arguably it’s a tired way of capturing customer intent. If I’m on your website now and I’m interested in getting some info about a product or service, don’t make me fill out a form, and wait for a response.
Enable your customers to engage with you in real-time. Stop reading email, and start having conversations with your customers. I know it sounds a little ‘out there’, but it wasn’t that long ago when inbound marketing made a lot of marketers uncomfortable.
If you’d like to learn how your business can take advantage of this technology use chat us up (see the bottom right of this screen).