Lockdown, we are likely stuck at home, so it’s time to develop a fully digital sales process. Satya Nadella said it best, “We’ve seen 2 years of digital transformation in just 2 months.” So, have you digitally transformed?
The sales process before was about events, networking, schmoozing, dinners, sports games, and millions of us carried the bag. We may have left some of the novel modern approaches to the kids on the Sales Development team.
Wherever you are, you have a technology stack. Now it’s time to dust it off. It’s time to learn your gear, study your kit. This likely involves some form of a system of record (CRM) and systems of engagement (Sales Engagement Platform) to automate programmatic outbound touches.
Your stack may be hyper simple - G-Suite, Slack, Zoom, a phone, LinkedIn.
Or it may be rather advanced – Revenue Intelligence, AI Chat-Bot, Dialer, Sequencer, Business Intelligence (Triggers).
Either way, it’s time to learn all you can about the companies. It’s time to embrace an outbound content strategy across blogs, YouTube videos, and Twitter, and start getting on podcasts. Every rep needs to think like a content marketer. If you are afraid to write, just remember this is not about perfect grammar, it’s about sharing your unique voice with the world.
Get really intentional about thinking through your touches on LinkedIn in advance. Think about cadences of touch pattern in terms of Day 1, Day 3, Day 7, Day 10, etc. Maybe day one is a call, voicemail, and LinkedIn custom connect. Then a callback and Twitter interaction on day two. But don’t just reach out to everyone. It’s crucial to research your ideal customer profile and map out buyer personas in advance.
We need to be thorough in our digital account targeting platforms like LinkedIn Sales Navigator that allow us to laser target via Boolean Search.
Patrick Joyce adds, “The people who shuffle their feet right now and buckle down will come out ahead because they will start to unlock the true benefits the tech advertises. Those stuck in single-threaded networking mode will have more deals than stall. The true business development practitioners will have been multithreaded across an entire org almost overnight.”
The future of sales engagement will not be televised. Every single person who sells now inadvertently is learning remote, inside sales. They’re learning how to meaningfully connect on social platforms like LinkedIn. They are experimenting with B2B Slack Groups and Collectives. They are learning to send better, more personalized emails, and scale them with outbound sequencers.
But not only individual sales reps need to develop their skills. Also, on management and team lead level, one gets confronted with the new sales world.
Coaching has to radically shift. Calls must be recorded and analyzed by systems like Gong, Chorus, and Execvision for remote managers to retain any control of their sales process. The beauty is more investment and R&D can go into these platforms. This will allow them to become predictive and, in the future, maybe even suggest what to say. It also unlocks triggers, elements of personalization, and notes. It may even start to guess how well your call will do from a down-funnel pipeline and revenue creation standpoint.
Technology Quotient or TQ is a new theme I’ve coined for Sales as distinct from IQ and EQ. All three can be improved. We must have empathy in the crisis to boost EQ and start to think critically about the shifting challenges of our customers (IQ). What about fusing humans and machines? What about seeking technical training on Sales Navigator, Outreach, SalesLoft, Groove, or XANT. The courses are nearly free. You can get certified for Salesforce Trailheads and become a RevOps ninja quite affordably now.
Sellers are getting closer to Marketing, and are getting ever closer to Sales Operations in an emerging new category called Revenue Operations, the nexus point of Revenue Operations, Marketing Operations, and Sales Operations. What does this mean for you, the seller? If you understand how to orchestrate your customer interactions over various channels and successfully handle Sales Engagement Platforms, you will be ahead of the game.
Why embrace a digital sales process as a company? Unique competitive advantage. Why embrace it as an individual? You are irresistible to your employer because you straddle Ops. If you are just starting out on this journey reading this, don’t be intimidated. Just 5% less technology avoidance immediately puts you ahead of the next thousand sellers who won’t embrace the tech stack.
If you’ve got a huge budget, you can think like Tony Stark and build Iron Man, your JARVIS control system. Go out there, test all the outbound and inbound sales technologies, and build a best of breed stack. If you’re bootstrapping or cutting back / consolidating, think more like MacGyver and create workflows and campaigns that optimize what you’ve got. Less is more, more with less.
The future is now. Backflip into the deep end of the cold Olympic swimming pool and reap the awards exponentially to laggards and late adopters. Keep it locked to this blog for cutting edge updates on how to make this transformation seamless. Hint: it starts with a growth mindset as Carol Dweck writes in her hit book. Fix mindsets will go the way of the Dinosaur. The future is won through adaptation and allowing advanced technologies to make us better and our delivery even more personalized and human. That’s the paradox.
Thank you again to Justin for writing & sharing your insights with us!
Justin Michael, aka the Tony Stark of XDRs, is a sales futurist and author of "Tech-Powered Sales" releasing on HarperCollins in 2021. After two decades of consulting 100+ early-stage startups on hypergrowth and holding leadership roles at LinkedIn, Salesforce, and reporting to Sean Parker, Justin was part of a stealth project where engineers built an AI model of his brain while prospecting with the goal of fully automating sales development itself. He is passionate about AI, ML, NLP, Deep Learning AI, and Neural Network evolution in order to bridge toward the Singularity. His writing seeks to unlock all the ways Marketing and Sales leaders can apply these mechanics to free up the human in the sales process, restoring quality consultative exchanges that drive value.