To borrow a phrase, “It is the best of times and worst of times”, is a good way to describe some of the realities facing salespeople these days. On the best side of the ledger, we have access to more and more sales tools allowing us to do more things than we ever have, allowing us, in theory to be more efficient and productive. As an added bonus, many of these tools and apps provide data and visibility, that in theory, should help us make better decisions and serve our clients better.
I say in theory, because that has not always been the case. Stats show that many of these sales tools have added an unnecessary drag on sales productivity, bringing with increased complexity to selling. While many talk about the “complex sale”, it may turn out that the complexity is not in the sale, but in the tools surrounding the sale, and the related processes required to implement and use them. CEB, the folks behind the Challenger Sale and Customer, have documented the impact of that increased tools have had on productivity and sales results.
So what’s a Millennial Seller to do? On the one hand the ‘social’ pressure to be hip and have the latest app on their latest device; on the other hand the pressure to deliver quota, something that is not happening as regularly as updates to the very apps adding to their challenge. The answer is minimize!
This does not equate to making choices as to which sales tools to give up, and as a result give up some competitive advantage, but to take a look at which tools can provide you with multiple functions and benefits. Better yet, see how you can get the functionality and outcome from sales tools you already have, are not likely to give up, but can maximize beyond the obvious, and in non-traditional ways.
The most obvious to explore is of course email. When you look at all the tools we use day in day out all day every day, email likely tops the list, if a close tie with your CRM. Not only has email changed, both in terms of ease of use, and organization improvement, but more importantly, how it can be used to prospect, engage and help move a sales through the cycle. Not only can one have increased visibility into how prospects are reacting to what we are doing, but also in how they help us act and react in a timely and strategic fashion.