- July 17, 2013, Stephanie Millman
Do you remember the definition of insanity? Doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results. Well, consider how much the internet, smart technologies and social media has changed the way customers receive information and connect with vendors and other customers and then think about how little our sales philosophy has changed. Perhaps an overhaul of sales incentives and structure might bring some sanity into the picture?
Traditionally, customers received product and brand information through various communication methods (print, mail, etc.) and then contacted the company to have a field or frontline salesperson work with them throughout the sales cycle. Often there is an inside sales support or customer service person to assist with the quote, place the order and help fulfill the delivery of the product/service.
Yet in considering how significant of a change the Internet and smartphone technology has made on the customer’s end of the sales process, can you say that your sales approach has evolved much to map to that change? Customers now have online access to specifications, reviews and even video (for both your products and your competitors) at their fingertips. They no longer need sales people to “sell” to them, but rather connect with them and remove obstacles to help them “buy”.
Most companies have done very little to evolve their sales structure or incentive programs and yet the game has changed significantly. There needs to be an overhaul of the process with a new mindset that makes your customer feel connected to many individuals within your organization and empower your entire team to move the customer along in the sales cycle. An obvious start to this change is to implement an integrated contact management system and to open communications between departments.
To keep tossing out leads and hammering on sales people to continue to grow sales without providing them an army of helpers would be a little crazy. Bring sanity to the picture and take a look at “Best Practices” for organizations similar to yours that are seeing success in their sales approach and start implementing changes that make sense.