Some years ago I remember sitting in a Marriott Banquet Hall in Los Angeles, CA with about 1000 other high net worth individuals listening to Ken Fisher’s presentation on the Stock Market. He was discussing historical booms & crashes. As he came to the Dot.com boom in 2000 Ken said here are the 4 most dangerous words in investing: “It’s Different This Time.” Ken was right, he avoided the Dot.com now long Dot.Gone heard of stocks. Sound advice when dealing with popularized booms and eventually Busts. If you go with the herd you end up with average at best or going off the cliff with the other Lemmings at worst. So I am not by any means an expert on Stock Markets. I will leave that to experts like Ken Fisher – Warren Buffet, Peter Lynch etc.
Where I have some knowledge and have seen a shift that I believe will have a permeant change in Sales is due to Covid. Ok Capt. Obvious here. Yet there are folks who are looking forward to and expecting things will go back to “Normal”. Yet there was a trend for some years beforehand towards a reduction in the number of sales people. The trend was towards inside sales teams and automating the Marketing & Sales process. I have been Salesforce Consultant for 10 years, I have never seen the rapid adopting I am seeing right now.
The technology to automate much of the sales process has been at hand for at least 10 years. Yet adoption of any new technology tends to be slow. Not because the tech is not ready it is the people who are not ready. Usually because upper level management are often hobbled by their own experiences, education and background. From my own experience selling Industrial Sensors to Petro-chemical plants the local sales rep often commented that we can’t sell to that plant until the head engineer retires, dies, there is an accident or an explosion. Well in the sales world Covid was that explosion. It is either adopt Technology fast or you are out of business. Once the cost of tech is sunk in, it is highly unlikely things will go back to “Normal” So yes it is different this time.
How can technology automate sales process. Well in the old west there was a saying “It wasn’t the constitution that made all men equal it was Colonel Colt with the Colt 45 that did” Technology to automate your sales process is available to even modest Ma & Pa businesses. Using Marketing Cloud with Salesforce you can automate the qualification side of your business. PreQualify your Prospects into Sales Qualified Leads that are already warmed up. According to a recent Salesforce Study Gen Z and Millennials both grew up in a world were everyone had a computer. They highly prefer doing most all of their shopping & business on their mobile devices. Ask your self if selling is done using automation, bots and video conferences does it need to be done locally? Does your sales team even need to be domestic? Just think of how many tech support call centers have moved overseas. Just think of what that portends for how future sales will be conducted.
Some few folks will return to the old way of doing things for a time. It won’t last, the change that was steadily occurring towards automation has been accelerated, it is unstoppable now. What is a Sales leader to do? Pivot to a more Technology, CRM – E-Marketing approach ASAP. Lead, move or get out of the way. Let go or be dragged to the un-employment line. In this Covid Chaos there is opportunity.
How to do it, on a personal level Salesforce offers Free online training at: https://trailhead.salesforce.com
Yes Virginia it is different this time. On the off chance any of this is going on in your world it might be worth a conversation feel free to contact me.