The inside sales world has been fairly good at adapting to the new technology, and its points about integrated CRM tools and the complete transformation of cold calling seem like conventional wisdom today.
But new technological functionality isn’t the only reason that the prospecting landscape has shifted. Today’s Customer 2.0 has a dramatically different approach to the buying process, and many inside sales organizations are still scrambling to catch up to the changes:
- Gone are the days when customers answered their phones and receptionists put your calls through. This has changed the value and place of the phone call. Today, inside sales teams need to approach prospects via multiple channels at once (voice + social + email) to have any real shot at a response. They also need to do their research before ever reaching out, finding the key power players via LinkedIn, and develop an initial pitch specific to the prospect’s needs.
- Gone are the days when customers patiently sat through demos, accepted appointments, and even insisted that you walk them through the entire sales process. Customer 2.0 wants bite-size, easily digestible content, such as infographics and short YouTube videos. These customers also want to do their own research on your company and its services before taking any serious time with a sales rep. Then they’ll probably disappear for months…then suddenly come back and want everything to move NOW!
- Gone are the days when you hired a professional team of solution-selling salespeople and aligned them with the field.
- Gone are the days when sales reps put in time and paid their dues, engaged in meaningful conversations with prospects, and were so excited when you gave out Starbucks gift cards as a little bonus. That’s because, just like Customer 2.0, Talent 2.0 has moved onto the scene and is changing things from within.
Getting to know the new, independent Customers 2.0 – what they like, what they want, and what they need – is one of the best investments you can make with your inside sales team.
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