It’s more evident than ever that our world is changing more and more rapidly.
We currently live in a time where century-old institutions and ways of doing things are rapidly collapsing—making way for new methods, businesses, and industries.
One very obvious example is the death of brick and mortar and the move to digital.
COVID-19 has only sped up this evolutionary process.
I recently read a book called “Opportunity” by Eben Pagan.
Eben is a prolific digital marketer who has created over $100M in sales.
In the book, he talks about how as we look into the future, in order to take advantage of the abundance of opportunities rising amongst us, we must equip ourselves with new skillsets.
In days past, maybe we could have gotten by with 1 single skillset.
If you new accounting, all you needed to develop a career and be successful was accounting.
In the future, there will be more and more opportunities that pop up, and for us to “see” these opportunities, we’re going to need to equip ourselves with MORE skillsets.
Not only to spot these opportunities—but execute on them.
I believe this is already happening.
Even in the world of sales.
In B2B sales, I’ve noticed really over the past 2-3 years, that phone prospecting has declined dramatically in effectiveness.
In days past, where companies relied almost exclusively on cold calling… that is no longer the case.
Today, if you solely rely on phone prospecting, you’re in for a TOUGH time.
Times have changed.
Here are a couple of reasons:
- People are more bombarded by notifications, tweets, likes, DMs, banner ads, scammy phone calls, more than ever, and people do not want to be interrupted another way
- Fewer and fewer people have office phones – when was the last time you had an “office phone?”
- Our world has become more digital and in some ways more asocial than ever
And if you’re calling into these forward thinking digital or tech companies, chances are that people either work from home or don’t even have phones!
In my current day to day activities, I’m seeing conversion more via email and LinkedIn. So are other sales people.
And because of that, prospecting has changed in a dramatic way.
So here are 3 Reason why sales and marketing are meshing together:
Today we’re seeing more meetings booked via email and LinkedIn than phone.
In fact, it’s not even close.
It’s more like 95% email and LinkedIn, and phone is just a support tool so people are aware we are reaching out.
And this is not the exception. In the last 3 companies I worked for in Silicon Valley, this has been the case.
Granted, if you’re selling to car dealerships and mechanics or something, using a phone might still be effective.
But for the most part?
If you’re selling to more forward thinking companies, digital is going to be much more effective.
This means that salespeople just turned into marketers.
If you haven’t heard of the term direct response advertising, it refers to marketing that is meant to elicit a “direct response.”
An example of this is direct mail letters that are meant to get the reader to take an action (aka purchase something, or request more information, etc.)
The written form of this skill is called “copywriting.”
It’s a real thing – and it’s made many people millionaires.
My point is that current day salespeople are also copywriters.
Software companies like outreach.io enable salespeople to create email sequences that comprise 20 or more emails sent out in a manual or automated fashion.
This skill is not the same as direct selling.
In fact, it’s a whole new discipline!
Don’t get me wrong, there are some strong overlapping commonalities, but it is a new discipline at the end of the day.
To be an effective prospector nowadays, you also need to be an effective copywriter.
Writing better copy will allow you to book more meetings and generate more opportunities for your business.
This is not theory, this is a fact. And this truth is already here.
Another reason why sales and marketing are more intertwined than ever is personal branding.
As I had mentioned, because more and more people decide to be on social…
…prospecting is also happening on social more than ever.
I’m sure we’ve all had the experience of logging on LinkedIn and be inundated with sales pitches.
Well, because people are spending more time online than ever, personal branding matters much more than ever as well.
People no longer want to buy from faceless corporations.
Companies like Nike paid athletes like Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods hundreds of millions of dollars in the past to be the “faces” of their companies.
It’s a trust factor, and I’m sure you can understand why.
People trust large faceless brands less and less, and more than ever they want to buy from people the know, like, and trust.
What that means for you as the salesperson, is that if you’re willing to put your face out there (on social media) and create content for your audience…
…the quicker you’ll be able to build up a following up people who know, like, and trust you.
I see this happening across all industries. You see this with real estate agents on Youtube creating content as opposed to doing the same stuff people have done for decades.
And the ones who are willing to do something new, create a personal brand, are absolutely killing it!
As salespeople in 2020, we have all become marketers as well.
As our world has become increasingly digital over the past 2 decades, social behavior has changed.
This includes the way we date and build relationships to the way we shop.
The whole situation with COVID-19 and being forced to stay at home has only exacerbated that.
As a result, people have become more accustomed to behaving in a certain way.
Also, in addition to the wide variety of options out in the market, people just don’t want to be interrupted anymore.
We already get enough notifications, bombardments on our phones and devices, between the slack channels and facebook notifications.
People don’t wan’t another person bombarding them and interrupting their day.
This change in social behavior has changed sales greatly.
I heard something really good by Ryan Stewman, aka the Hard Core Closer.
He talks about how in physics there is the idea of FORCE and POWER.
What was once Power, like cold calling, knocking on doors, has now become forceful.
Those acts which were once extremely effective because people were more social, and weren’t glued to screens all day.
Because these people didn’t have the limitless options available on the internet, those actions were extremely effective.
They were also the ONLY options available.
But now, with all the options online, and people becoming increasingly anti-social, those same actions seem as FORCEFUL, and not that effective.
Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of people and businesses making money cold calling, but it’s definitely not as effective as before.
People have changed, and the landscape of society has changed.
This is especially true you’re selling to start ups, tech companies, or any of these forward thinking companies.
In conclusion, sales and marketing have meshed.
Before sales used to be like boxing – where there was only 1 style at play.
Nowadays, sales and marketing have meshed, and it’s more like MMA – there’s phone, video conferencing, selling through text, emails, direct response marketing, personal branding, social media.
All these different avenues and methods come in play.
The game of sales & revenue generation has changed forever.
What does that mean for you?
It’s time to re-tool.
Either level up and evolve your sales skills or be left in the dust – the choice is yours.
And by the way, NOW is a better time than ever to do so.
“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago.
The second best time is now.”