Posted by Chris Handy ● April 7, 2016

The Future of Sales

The relationship between prospects and salespeople has changed.

Customers don’t want the “big reveal” or to be “pitched” to.

Instead, they want to be engaged, educated, and informed, through channels of their own choosing. These include blogs, websites, social networking sites, and a variety of content that goes beyond text-based information, including videos and images.

It is by harvesting the power of inbound, content, social media marketing, and organic search engine optimization rather than focusing on conventional, salesly marketing tactics that companies can attract new customers and retain existing ones.

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Customers Do More Research Before Buying

They use Google and other search engines to find alternative products, compare them, look for special offers and discounts, and more. The amount of time they spend on research increases with the value of the product they consider purchasing. Using your blog, social media, and other online channels to creatively educate your audience about your products and services can be far more effective than directly promoting your products through ads or pushy sales tactics.

Customers Expect More Than Good Offers

In a global marketplace full of options and possibilities, which customers can conveniently discover on their computers and mobile devices, the price and the quality of a product are no longer the only factors that drive purchases.

The approach and attitude your company has, the power of your story and message, your environmental impact, and how personal your services are can each be decisive factors. Customers have never been better educated than they are now, and the easy availability of information means that if you are hiding something, or not telling them enough, they can easily find the answers they seek from your competitors.

Customers Are Sick And Tired Of Sales Pitches

They just want to be engaged. Leading brands use their presence on social media and blogs to establish a rapport with their customers and encourage two-way communication. Rather than talking continuously, they actively listen to the voice of their social following and absorb and integrate the feedback they receive to craft better products and run more effective marketing campaigns. More than ever, customers want to be heard and listened to.

Sales Has Evolved From A Role Into A Mindset

The mission of the salesperson as seen by the customer has become that of a consultant and advisor, a knowledgeable expert who can help them solve problems. Some of these problems can be problems customers themselves did not know existed. Without the ability to effectively point out and offer solutions to problems, salespeople will not be of much use to today’s well-educated consumers.

Understanding Your Audience

Modern buyers are mobile, social, educated, and connected. Your sales team has to be like that as well if it is to effectively engage your audience. Directly selling products and engaging in aggressive marketing not only fails to bring the desired results, but can have a negative impact on your brand’s image and the way it is perceived.

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