Ahh sales people, some say they do an amazing job and are the crucial department in a business. Some people think they are overrated, outdated and asking questions like “Are you happy with your gas and electric?” are pointless, annoying and futile. So, as we head into a new decade (still no personal jet packs, so I’m very disappointed in what Maggie Philbin told us on Tomorrow’s Word) let’s have a look at how business and sales techniques have evolved and the alternatives to sales people.
Traditional Company Structures
When a company is starting out and want people to buy their products or if they are thinking of expanding or launching a new product range, who is the first department to get hired or expanded?
The sales team, right? They need to sell so obviously need sales people.
Where does the Marketing Dept fit in here? Usually further down the line and often a week before a product is launched.
When a company is maybe not doing so well, profit is taking a dip and they need to make adjustments to strategies and staffing, who is one of the first Departments to take a hit?
The Marketing Team, right? They need to sell to get back on track, so obviously need sales, not marketing people.
That is the way things have been done for as long as I can remember (and I remember watching Tomorrow’s World, so I must be quite old), but just because that’s how it has always been done, is it right? Heading into 2020 and new decade
Different Types Of Sales Approaches
When it comes to sales and sales techniques, there are more subtle ways of selling than the old school pushy car salesman like technique.
Probably the most widely used sales approach as it is the cheapest and despite the fact that we always say we don’t like unsolicited calls, it can still reap dividends. It often depends on the caller data. If it is a targeted list of people that could fit the demographic of the product, you may see positive results.
Account Management/Business Development Management
A dedicated Account or Business Development Manager can be a highly valuable resource to a company, as they are dedicated to looked after the business needs they are always looking for ways to improve and evolve.
Whether it is new avenues for sales via networking, or using their contacts to get client meetings. If a company has an Account Manager then it also conveys a message that says ‘we are serious and doing well.’
This is the polar opposite of the cold calling sales technique, instead of trying to close the sale as soon as possible (Always Be Closing), the inbound sales approach analyses a potential customers online behaviour and gradually curates and guides them to wanting a product.
It is a longer process than cold calling for sure, but leads to a more individual or personal sales approach.
Channel Sales/Partnerships are a way of selling your product through a third party affiliate. For example, say you were launching a new brand of headphones, it’s a pretty saturated market, right?
But what if your account manager put you in contact with Marketing person who worked for Samsung. They are about to launch a new phone and like the look of your headphones design so (for an agreed fee or commission).
They would be more than happy to bundle your product with theirs. So you get the benefit of a global partner selling your product and they don’t have to bother with manufacturing another model of headphones.
Switching Sales And Marketing Around
Marketing teams, if a company even has them, are more often than not seen as support services to the Sales team. But, there is a view held by many these days that it should be the other way around.
Let’s say, for example, you are looking at selling a new music streaming service and want it to make an impact in a world dominated by Spotify and Apple Music.
The usp for this is that when you listen to a film, radio show or tv programme until the end, it automatically compiles a playlist of the music played for you (Should I patent this by the way or is a bit nErDy?)
You can’t just rely solely on traditional sales techniques to do that, with the best will in the world and with the best sales team in the world, the impact you will have is going to be minimal and not sustainable.
So, in a world of AI, voice-activated search engines and ‘I’ll just google it’ being almost as common phrase as ‘I’ll stick the kettle on’ you’re going to need a digital marketing strategy and a marketing campaign.
Here’s a nifty video explaining strategy and why it doesn’t just mean a list of things to tick off on a list.
Digital Marketing And Alternatives To Sales People
An effective Digital Marketing Strategy is going to need the following in order to work.
Now, that is quite a lot to contend with, especially if you are used to using more conventional sales techniques and strategies.
So, it is worth considering your options, could you comfortably cope with this in house? Or would it make more sense to consider using a company such as us here at GrowTraffic who can handle this and have a track record of delivering success?
There is lots to think about there and if you do have any questions about alternatives to sales people or would just like a chat about the digital marketing services that we have to offer then please do not hesitate to get in touch.