In an era of digital disruption, professional sales leaders need to be aware of new tools that will help your team and your customers stay in touch.
It will come as no surprise to most sales leaders that the days of dropping by in person to check in on customers and important leads have all but ended. What was once a tried-and-true method of keeping in touch is now considered an intrusion into their busy schedule – not the impression you want to create or the best use of time, for either your sales team or their customers. But the need to maintain contacts is more important than ever.
Most of this activity has moved to the digital space but getting noticed in a customer’s overflowing in-box can be a challenge. “People are being bombarded with emails, social media notices…and they are busy themselves with their own pressures on time,” says Michael Taylor, program director for the Schulich ExecEd’s Centre of Excellence in Sales Leadership. “It’s hard to get people to listen.”
There’s no digital “magic dust” to solve the problem, says Taylor, but there are ways to cultivate relationships with your contacts and gradually emerge from the crowd to become a familiar face, ready with answers. “You need to understand what’s happening with your customers and find the moments when you can engage without being intrusive or over the top in trying to get their attention,” says Taylor.
One way is to keep track of your customers on social media apps for business such as LinkedIn, or dedicated CRM (customer relationship management) systems like Sales Force. When you set the social media app to send alerts when a customer’s situation changes – a promotion, change of company or a different role, etc. – you can be ready for those moments when your message will stand out from your competitors’. Knowing when these significant events occur gives you an opportunity to communicate when it will be more welcome, allowing you to offer valuable and timely information that can help them in the transition.
By showing your sales team how to build and manage a database of current and past customers, and promising new leads, you can help them build their own personal brand, cultivate important relationships and grow the potential for future sales.
These insights were taken from “Digital Sales Leadership – Data Analytics, Data Acquisition, Digital Transformation”, a module of Schulich ExecEd’s Masters Certificate in Sales Leadership program (starting March 30, 2020). For more information and to register, visit the program web page.