Like most industries, over the past 50 years things have really changed in sales and selling. Whilst most of us have those Hovis moments when we look back on the past romantically, we have to confess that the myriad of new technologies has made life for us sales folk much easier. There have been a few changes in particular that are worthy of note. From the commercialisation of telemarketing, to the birth of the internet, and social media, salespeople across the world now have some powerful tools and techniques to help them learn, achieve, and benchmark their art. As a result, the sales industry has become more scientific and sophisticated.
The methods employed by professional sales people are now informed by huge amounts of research, allowing them to better understand the needs, concerns, and buying patterns of customers, as well as helping them to get the most out of every contact.
The team at Blue Donkey is continually working to improve its techniques and make calls as productive as possible, we’re a driving force in the evolution of sales techniques. Our intelligent approach allows us to use technology to make a personal connection, transforming standard sales calls into powerful selling opportunities.
Today’s technology is unrecognisable to the technology of 50 years ago. According to Statista, just 35% of UK households owned a landline in 1970. By 2000, 95% of households had landlines and today, according to Ofcom, 93% of UK adults have a phone of their own. This, combined with 82% of adults who use the internet on a daily basis, has made it a lot easier for businesses to get in touch with their customer base. Companies can now employ sales techniques across a range of platforms; they use a combination of methods to identify the ideal customer, sell to them, understand their needs, and turn them into loyal returning buyers.
Over the last 50 years, there have been countless studies conducted on the psychology of sales and the effects that different approaches have on a sales call. Though some salespeople don’t take advantage of this wealth of research, the team at Blue Donkey uses it to maintain a continuous cycle of improvement. Understanding how simple ideas and approaches can impact on a sales call will help to build success and deliver stronger relationships between companies and their buyer community.
Thanks to technology and the advances made in understanding customer experience over the last five decades, salespeople are now much better placed to communicate effectively and efficiently when they’re on a call. From visualisation techniques, to using LinkedIn or other social media to ‘see a person’, access to websites, and news, all enable salespeople to treat each person they speak to individually, avoiding the prosaic, scripted calls that plagued us all in years gone by.
By approaching each call on an individual level, salespeople can connect with the person they’re speaking with, to understand their needs and offer relevant solutions. By being effective communicators, telemarketers are much more likely to create meaningful contacts and achieve the results they need. Over the past 50 years, sales techniques have become more intelligent, more personal, and more effective. By learning from this wealth of experience, Blue Donkey makes sales calls as productive, positive, and professional as possible.
No doubt one of the most profound developments over the last 50 years is the way companies decide which buyers are important to them. Modern marketers learn all about Segmentation, Targeting, and Positioning (STP). This clever approach to marketing is where companies group potential customers into segments based on similar needs and buying behaviours. They then evaluate each segment and decide which one is most important to them, usually on the basis of potential spend. Positioning is where companies decide how to position their brand in the mind of the buyer, this could be on price, on the number of features, on desirability, etc.
So, in theory, we should only be approached by companies promoting products or services that are relevant to us to a greater or lesser extent.
Data and data collection methods have also become one of the big innovations of our time. Now every time you tick a box for information, accept a free gift, or make an online purchase you find yourself on a database that is likely to lead to further contact. The ‘Internet of things’ takes this even further, so your mobile phone, your fridge, and any number of devices can tell the world something about you.
One of the many repercussions of this is buyers now have less tolerance for mass messages or limp messaging which doesn’t stand out as unique in some way. So, far from the old adage that marketing is ‘a numbers game’, we can safely say the better your list the more marketing success you get.
Furthermore, lots of competing products and services vying for our attention, as well as our pounds and pennies tells us that most markets are saturated. So, in a world where there is no such thing as a USP anymore, organisations are having to work harder, smarter and more intelligently to secure the loyalty and spend of buyers. This is especially true in B2B environments where successful companies are linked more and more to good service. And ultimately service comes from people.
In the telemarketing world, this boils down to an increased demand for intelligent calls, made by sensitive, intelligent and commercially savvy individuals. The impact of the first impression has never been more important.
Talk to Blue Donkey today about how we can make your impact more compelling.