Entrepreneur | Bootstrapped to €3M ARR in just 1year | Founder of Worlds safest software for LinkedIn Automation Expandi.io | Vegan | Father
Modern technologies are rapidly changing the marketing industry. We now have more ways to get customer data and leverage that data to provide personalized messages that are tailored to our customer’s stage in the purchase process. What does this mean for the modern sales professional?
Today, a salesperson can reach out to more leads, with more knowledge about those leads and with the best possible message that will be more likely to convert. Some sales automation tools even provide many of these features in one place. (Full disclosure, my company offers sales automation tools, as do many others.)
Here’s how a more technological approach differs from traditional sales and how it can help you improve your social media prospecting and other outbound efforts.
Traditional Vs. Modern Sales
The old-school image of salespeople, as depicted in movies like Glengarry Glen Ross, usually shows them as outgoing, almost pushy people that won’t take “no” for an answer. They use things like cold-calling, scripts and closing techniques to convince people they need their service or product. Closing a sale means going through a high-pressure process in which your prospects often won’t even talk to you.
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Back then, it really was all about volume. You’d take your address book and call prospects until you met your daily quota. With the advance of user data and modern technologies, the paradigm has shifted.
It’s not about volume anymore; it’s about providing value to the customer and only contacting those people who are potentially interested in your offer. Sales professionals don’t have to waste time on low-quality leads that will most likely end up rejecting them. Instead, they can do their best to find those people that are in their target audience, leverage the data and reach out to them with the right messages.
New Ways To Find Leads
Modern technology has equipped us with new ways to find quality leads. You can now use various tools to search for prospects that have already displayed an interest in your industry. Many companies (67%) use lead generation as a metric to determine their success, so making this a priority can be an important move.
Here are some ways to hunt leads that weren’t available a decade ago:
• LinkedIn Sales Navigator. LinkedIn’s sales tool is a great place to conduct complex searches and find your prospects. You can use filters to narrow down your search results by education, employer (current and former), location, job title and numerous other criteria. This allows you to get specific results and filter your search to the point that all your results fit your audience persona almost perfectly.
• Email hunters. You can now find almost anyone’s email. All you need is their name, last name and current company. There are lots of email hunter tools that allow you to get this information online. Years ago, this was impossible. Today, you have all these leads just a few clicks away.
• Scrape contacts. Some sales automation tools allow you to scrape contacts from all sorts of lists. For example, you can join a Facebook group from your industry and scrape all the members to use them as potential leads. You can also scrape all the people who commented on a specific LinkedIn post. The opportunities are endless if you do your research right and know where to find leads.
All of these technologies are geared toward one thing: giving you the highest quality leads available. Once you have those, you’re ready to go into smart outreach.
Outreach With Sales Automation
Cold-calling is a painstaking process that takes a lot of time and consumes a lot of energy. The same can be said for social media or email outreach if you do them manually. Instead of reaching out to each lead with a custom message created from scratch, now you can use automation to handle multiple prospects in record time.
It used to be that you had to sacrifice some quality if you wanted to go into sales process automation. Today, these intelligent tools allow you to create smart flows that feel natural to the prospect. From my experience with working with companies, you can reach out with personalized, automated messages that are almost impossible to tell apart from the ones you wrote from scratch.
More importantly, some of these tools use advanced personalization techniques, and we know that personalization can have a profound effect on profits and customer lifetime value.
The job of a sales professional in 2021 could be considered both easier and more purposeful than it used to be. Traditional sales calls have transformed into data-based interactions where you’re confident you have something to offer. In my opinion, knowing that you’re talking to someone from your industry who displayed some interest in products similar to yours is also bound to make your job more enjoyable.
However, keep in mind that sales automation tools won’t do all the work. You still have to be skillful when it comes to both finding leads and creating messages that convert.