It’s hard to remember that just 10 years ago, smart phones were not the norm. Most people weren’t on LinkedIn. Marketing was relatively simple, focusing on press releases, collateral like brochures, and advertising. Sales was pretty straightforward too. Selling financial services and insurance primarily involved cold calling to set up in-person seminars and meetings.
Fast forward to today. Usage of Facebook, LinkedIn, and other social networking sites has exploded. Everyone has a mobile device and everyone ‘Googles’ when they’re thinking of buying something. People research their options and go into even their first sales conversations as an educated buyer. At the same time, government regulators around the world have stepped up their privacy protections which make cold calling much more difficult for salespeople.
Over the last decade, these new consumer behaviors, technologies, and restrictions in consumer privacy have led to the shifts summarized below.
Four Fundamental Shifts in Selling
- Sales people are trusted advisors, cultivating professional networks over an entire career. Cold calling is a thing of the past.
- Selling is all about attracting clients using educational content. Sellers are partners and problem solvers.
- Digital analytics arm salespeople with intelligence about who to engage with, what they are interested in, and when to engage them. No more blind ‘call downs.’
- Engagement across a multitude of digital channels is necessary to acquire and build client relationships, (rather than in-person events, especially now), and allows salespeople to scale like never before.
The Power of Sales & Marketing Collaboration
These shifts have pushed once separate sales and marketing organizations toward an essential partnership for success. Webcasts, white papers, research reports, and blog posts are the thought leadership and credibility magnets that get prospects interested in engaging with organizations. Sales teams depend on marketing for this content and the behavioral analytics to know when to engage with who and on what channel.
In the video, watch Hearsay’s co-founder and executive chairperson, Clara Shih, walk through these shifts and their impact on today’s sales funnel.