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Embrace the New, but Don’t Give Up on the Old

By Joe Morelli

June 4, 2019

width=174Does anyone remember how revolutionary to sales the first cellphone was? Or what about when the internet first came on the scene? Like everything else, sales and the sales process have evolved over the years. Social media and advancements in technology have changed the way we all approach our clients and potential clients, but it is a tried-and-true sales technique that still proves to be most valuable today.

Prospecting in pre-social media days was extremely difficult. Phone calls, cold calls, drop-in visits—a lot of wasted time! Whether or not you like social media, the positive impact it has had on sales cannot be understated. All of a sudden, prospecting has become as easy as keying in a company’s name on LinkedIn and seeing exactly who works there and what their positions are. Finding out a contact’s personal likes, habits, or hobbies can be as easy finding a Facebook, LinkedIn, or Twitter page and scrolling through their history. The ease of finding information has advanced to the point where the art of the cold call has died. Social media has become a very important tool for all of us and cannot be ignored.

In order to survive in any industry, salespeople have always had to have a strategic approach to the way they do business. But as technology has advanced, so have the tools to facilitate sales. CRM programs, such as Salesforce or other like programs, have features that track leads, establish pipelines, manage a book of business, and help determine what will be your best approach. Completing expense reports has become convenient with any of the cloud-based apps for your smartphone; no longer do you have to fumble through a pile of receipts at the end of each month. Embracing the new technology on the market can ultimately make the sales process less cumbersome.

Along with the advancement in technology, the workforce is now being flooded with new generations of workers. It is not uncommon now to work day in and day out with millennials and/or Generation Z employees who are being tasked with making game-changing decisions for their companies. Adapting to the technology that they are used to has become a given in order to keep up. But what I find interesting is what they find most important to them in the sales process. In a recent article in Forbes, one of the things they say that Generation Z craves most is a personalized and comfortable relationship with the people they do business with. Wait—what?! Sales has changed, and so have the people who are buying. But with all the change, one thing is still constant: the value placed on relationships.

With all the technological advances in sales, the development of the smartphone, and social media, an age-old sales technique continues to impress: Getting to know your customer and what matters to them is something that will never get old.

Joe Morelli is vice president of sales and marketing at Huston Patterson and secretary of AICC’s Associate Board.