For a guy who makes his living training sales execs about the benefits of online tools, writing that headline was a bit disconcerting – the fastest way to fail?
Getting through a maze of organizational charts and administrative staff to reach your desired prospect has always been a time-consuming, long-term project. However, a new generation of web tools has enabled sales execs to reach their prospects considerably faster than even three years ago.
But this newfound speedway to your prospects has, in turn, exposed a new challenge: an ineffective message.
Using online tools, sales execs can reach 100 prospects in the time it used to take to reach just one prospect. In the past, if you did not provide a specific, targeted, well-researched solution to your prospect, you would probably fail, but now you can fail faster because you are delivering a losing solution to a larger group of prospects. The initial telephone call you didn’t prepare for or the meeting that goes downhill the instant you turn on your LCD projector are now happening at an accelerated pace.
Think about it this way: If you have a potential pool of 200 customers in your territory, it’s fair for your management team to expect that you’ll be able to reach all of them by using online tools.
As with using any sales channel, the Web requires sales execs to review, update and modify their message to reflect the needs of their customers; if not, they’ll probably fail. But what the Web can giveth it can quickly taketh away.
Before you start using Web 2.0, take the time to review your sales message, your content and your communication style. Ensure that what you have to say has relevancy to the customer. There are some who say, “This is not a recession, it is a different economy.” Does your sales message convey that sentiment? Take a look at your message from your prospects’ eyes. With an updated sales message, practiced well, your odds of success go way up. Using the Web can be tremendous accelerator to prospects. It is up to you to decide whether it can accelerate success or failure.
Miles Austin is president of Fill the Funnel, which helps sales execs implement Web tools to spur sales. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and you can read his blog at www.fillthefunnel.com.