June 14th, 2010
Changes in Selling or Sales management?
Living in the Southeast where football is a lifestyle, the radio sports talk shows and the newspapers sports pages are covered with discussions regarding the changing PAC 10, Big 12 and even Nebraska going to the Big 10 and the potential impact on the SEC. The changes that could occur impact TV, basketball and all non-revenue sports and as expected-there are opinions on all three sides of each issue. Change is always good word when attempting to gain interest in any subject and last week I was reading a LinkedIn discussion group that was discussing how social media has changed selling and sales management.
As someone who usually has an opinion on most subjects, I jumped into the discussion. While not being aggressive in my comments I simply pointed out that selling has an emotional , technical and strategic element and that many authors or sales trainers have put multiple spins on each of these aspects in an attempt to create unique messaging for their programs, however I claimed the fundamentals are still the same. There is no question social media has allowed salespeople greater insights into their prospects backgrounds and potential leveraged relationships, but the execution of that knowledge is still the important aspect of selling.
Needless to say several individuals began to “rave” about how new technology (2.0) has already changed the job of a salesperson and that I really didn’t understand the new world. During the discussion it became obvious that people were getting confused between the changes in the job of selling vs the understanding what the job of selling is.
Selling has not changed, however the job of selling has only been enhanced. Salespeople today can find out more information prior to making a sales call; what information prospects are reading on the salesperson’s website, what emails are being opened, find out what are key topics within the their prospects industry and other points of information that were not necessarily available to previous generations of sales or sales management. However the job of sales and sales management has not changed. Sales management must recognize this and ensure their sales process mapping and training includes content on 2.0 technologies, but they MUST not lose focus on what selling is! Your opinions?
While I may sound old school, last week the SalesManagementGuru was recognized as one of Top 50 Sales Social Media experts: Here’s the quote: . Ken Thoreson, Acumen Management Group president, has been named to the IV50’s select group of sales professionals who are playing a significant role in providing insight to their peers about the use of social media. In making the announcement on its blog, Inside View described Thoreson as “bringing a wealth of “old school” expertise to our list of savvy sales professionals, sharing his expertise on Twitter and in a variety of publications.” The list is called ‘IV50’ and has been posted on the InsideView blog at http://blog.insideview.com/2010/06/10/the-top-sales-industry-social-media-users-2/.
Thoreson writes Your Sales Management Guru blog and contributes regularly on LinkedIn and other online publications. His collective social media involvement and leadership is helping usher in a new era of sales that meshes with the customer 2.0 experience. “Sales 2.0” entails leveraging the same social media used by customers—Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, blogs and others.
Thoreson said, “Social media acuity is quickly becoming a factor in sales success—for bolstering brand awareness and credibility in addition to intelligence about customers and prospects. I strongly urge clients to ensure that their sales organizations take advantage of this increasingly pervasive force, and our workshops help them do that.”
On our website home page you can find a whitepaper on the Job of Sales Management if you want more clarification. www.AcumenManagement.com