In article two of a five-part series Barrett Consulting founder, Sue Barrett, explores the increasingly social nature of sales and marketing.
Where once the lone salesperson was exalted for their solo efforts on the frontline, now more than ever selling is a social enterprise.
The simple phone call to a prospect isn’t where your reach ends – nor is it your client’s final chance to play a killer hand. Blog posts, Facebook posts, tweets and retweets bounce around the internet 24/7, each with the potential to spread positive or negative messages about your salespeople, your business’s promises, your customer service proposition and your brand.
Thanks to social media, your customers are now – for better or for worse – your sales force and brand ambassadors. A customer’s endorsement can drive more sales and business to your door than any shopping cart. Similarly, should a customer disapprove of your product or service, negative feedback that goes viral can have a devastating and long-lasting impact.
Control over your brand is more limited now than ever before. While your marketing team continues to deliver on-message work, it’s important to be mindful that customers can publicly dissect and comment on your campaigns.
Internally, your sales teams are no longer a standalone silo. Sales is now a social enterprise where every staff member has a hand in cultivating advocates of your business.
It’s time to embrace new partnerships within your business. Look at the current workforce structure and ask the following questions:
- Is everyone on the same page or are your sales and marketing teams working in silos?
- Are your sales people trained in the basics of marketing and are your marketing people trained in sales?
- Do you actively engage with your customers or is your marketing team still producing product-centric marketing material, while your sales team is solely using the product monologue to sell?
The best way to build a unified sales team within your business is to get everyone involved in one another’s training sessions. Hold a planning day so that marketing and sales, as well as customer service, finance, operations, IT and procurement, have the opportunity to listen to the new team approach and understand why it’s important. Together, look at your key messages, advertising strategies, discussion groups, websites, product mix, competitors and everyday public presence.
Sue Barrett is a sales expert, business speaker, adviser, sales facilitator and entrepreneur and founded Barrett Consulting to provide expert sales consulting, sales training, sales coaching and assessments. Visit www.barrett.com.au