Sales have always been about searching for gold in the prospective opportunities you can find. In the old days, good salespeople went through a lot of unproductive leads to find a prospect worth pursuing. All the less promising leads were tossed to the side of the sales path. Without a CRM, it was like panning for gold.
Prospecting for Gold
In the 1890’s, the dream of getting rich quick by setting up camp on a riverbank in Colorado was reasonable. All you needed was a shovel and a shallow pan beside a river. The prospector shoveled a load of dirt into the pan with a little water and swirled it gently, letting the sand swish out and leaving the heavier mineral glistening at the bottom of the pan.
By the early 1900’s, the promise of swirling dirt in a pan to find gold was almost over. New technology allowed the process to become more sophisticated. With the new equipment, even small traces of gold that would have sloshed out of the prospectors pan unnoticed were being retrieved. Those that implemented the new systems quickly got rich and made the prospector’s pan obsolete.
Prospecting for Sales
A few decades ago, the best sales people used a lot of cold calling and a few closing techniques to find the gold sales leads and the others were discarded just like so much dirt. A change in the mindset of buyers and new economic realities in sales has changed all of that. Sales people that are still hunched over the river of opportunities are coming up empty handed more and more each day.
There is both good and bad news with the new economy of sales. The good news is you have the opportunity to develop gold out of what appears to be just dirt. With a good CRM, cold leads can be nourished with education, information and other valuable content using email marketing. Instead of pursuing the buyers and using closing dialogues, the cold leads are gently attracted to what you have to offer them.
Inbound Marketing Gold
Today’s consumers want to control every bit of the sales process. Some of the highest volume consumers will not purchase immediately. They feel responsible for taking time to learn everything they can about the product or service before any decision is made. If you stop panning for the quick sale and feed these profitable buyers useful information, the buyer will take the lead. Eventually they will come to you and ask for your product or service. No joke.
In many ways, the new way of selling is much, much better. Here are a few reasons why:
- Today’s buyers want to be educated, smart consumers. You know your business well and can share what you know in written, audio or video content.
- Once the system for attracting gold leads has been set up, it does not have to be recreated for the next cold lead. You just plug new leads into the process and let technology warm them up.
- Sales people work with prospects that already know about your business. You attract higher quality reps and a higher closing ratios.
- Pre-sales activities can be assigned to in-house customer service reps at a lower cost to the company. It also saves on travel and other related sales expenses. ROI increases.
Stop panning for gold and letting perfectly good opportunities slosh back into the riverbed. Learn how a good CRM integrated with an email marketing program can make your life GOLDEN.