Get off Facebook. Get off LinkedIn. Get off Twitter. Get off the 3rd appendage. If aliens descended they'd be confounded with why humans have only one hand. The entire society is glued to a piece of plastic, silicon circuits, and flashing light through gorilla glass. It's unnatural, unhealthy, and sociologically inept.
We've already ruined society so why ruin Modernized Selling too? What's wrong with this picture? Probably everything!
When I walk through a company from startup to corporation, my first mandate is to listen: not to the platitudes of executives asking for cutting edge new "closing techniques" but for the tenor and tone of the sales floor. If the culture is a closed door, sanctuary, with an "open office layout" oxymoron of nobody talking to colleagues or prospects on the phone, I know that something has truly gone awry in Denmark.
Sales floors should be loud. No exceptions.
This image looks like a blast, but this is not selling. This is leisure people!
If you are sitting near a strategic seller, and it sounds like a zen spa in the background, be wary. That rep is not busy or doing their job. Top reps that prospect like Terminator are crazy busy. Top sales floors are filled with the noises of hustle and bustle, not the thump of muted techno while the keys fall like acid rain. Top sales establishments have their own conference rooms packed with clients. Their reps are either pounding the phones standing with headsets, or out in the field face to face with customers.
What I'd really like to construct is something like an Applause-o-meter from old black and white TV game shows. A Sales-o-meter where I can monitor the sound from 1 to 10, from a traditional church to Monster Truck Rally!
It's really easy to immediately challenge the organization I'm consulting.
If you're having a problem with revenue, why does your sales floor sound like a funeral procession?
Energy, this is what's missing in modern sales. Passion! Try as you might to convey this with your next spammy email, InMail or DM on Twitter but it gets lost in translation of the white wall of noise enveloping the modern prospect.
YOU will separate yourself from the next 999 reps if you always err to the phone.
Dig through the deadwood in your CRM and call all the numbers. Don't ping your warm opportunities in the funnel with "touching base" and "checking in" emails. Get on the phone and call them. Call them again. Leave them tailored messages that are short and sweet, and that focus on them and their industry rather than what you're selling.
I've got one rep I coach who got reprimanded for disrupting the sales floor with outbound prospecting. The CSO asked him to book a calling pod and ensure that any time in the POD is logged on the Google calendar.
Constraining when reps can call and forcing them to book time on calendars is the absolute height of inanity insanity! STOP the madness!
If you're reading this and agree, get up and let out a Billy Idol rebel yell at your desk now. Start standing up while you make outbound prospecting calls. Get live and loud! Tell your boss you're going to double your pipeline by using a phone strategy. Then get ahold of phone numbers, as many as you can - from business cards, from autoresponders, from Data.com, ZoomInfo, Google Searches - WIT - whatever it takes! I dunno, even open the cobwebby CRM thingamajig!
Always err to the phone. Inbound lead... Call. Email follow up... Call. Top, Middle, Bottom of funnel... Call. Step one... Call.
If I ran a modern sales team again, I'd buy a Polycom for every rep and put a few per room and they'd round robin making prospecting calls with headsets and coaching each other as they sharpen the sword of value and insight.
It's remarkable to me that SDRs are not on the phone. It's remarkable to me that modern Strategic Sales Executives show up to work, get coffee, complain about the leads, check the sports scores and never once even pick up their cell phone. (Yes, the one the company is reimbursing for primarily Facebook and LinkedIn fluff.)
Late addition from comments made to this post by the legendary Mark Hunter: "I had an inside sales manager tell me he had to get rid of the gong he had on the floor. Each time one of his team members made a sale they got to ring the gong. He was asked by HR to remove it because another sales manager said it was too noisy for his team. Note to HR...fire the other sales manager! Note to the CEO - fire HR!" I agree Mark! They should install a 'rock concert grade amp stack' to play this cowbell track every time someone wins a deal.
Now I'm not denigrating Social Selling; I'm advocating making the PHONE the central pillar of that strategy too. Pull up Sales Navigator, check your common connections, school in common, contacts in your own company that know them, triggers like press releases, expansion, M&A, product innovation, job changes but then pick up the phone to tell them about it. Google their name, pull a quote and call their cell phone to talk about how the quote links to a business case.
This is why I absolutely love a video-based email like BombBomb. Record a video that shows you did even 30 seconds of social stalking (research) and sends the image of you speaking, inflection, body language and all. This is the undiscovered country, the next frontier. You need to be more human than a human. You need to crack the cyborg "digitalfication" of everything in sales and become organic matter again.
There's a counter-culture movement happening right now in sales that reminds me of CrossFit. Sellers just can't guzzle the corn syrup like gerbils on the spinning wheel of Social anymore. It's time to get real, get live and get loud. Are you with me? Come on feel the noise!!!
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Tony Hughes is ranked as the #1 influencer on professional selling in Asia-Pacific and is a keynote speaker and best selling author. This article was originally published on LinkedIn where you can also follow Tony's award-winning blog. Also, visit Tony's keynote speaker website at www.TonyHughes.com.au or his sales methodology website at http://www.rsvpselling.com/.