Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Stackify Blog, Pat Romanski, Shelly Palmer

Related Topics: Agile Computing

Agile Computing: Blog Post

Has Selling Changed Forever with the Technology Revolution?

So what exactly has changed?

Has technology forever changed selling?

There's no question about it - Over the last two decades selling has changed, massively. Is it for the better or are we worse off from where we started?

To help answer this question we've brought in:


 

Sam-Jefferies.png

Sam Jefferies: Digital Marketing Executive at Workbooks CRM. Providing CRM Software aimed at small to medium sized businesses. To find out more sign up for their 30 Day Free Trial.

Ian-Moyse_1.png

Ian Moyse: Sales Leader for Rackspace and Board Member of Eurocloud.

 


Q. So what exactly has changed?

Ian begins: "Sales has moved on a great deal from my early days of a fax machine, no mobile phone and a PC tied to your desktop. In those times you did not have an inbox full of emails, were not expected to be always accessible and would work from paper maps when on the road, using the now rare red telephone box as your friendly reach back to base.

Over the years sales has changed due to technology in many ways and now we have a status quo where if you ignore the technology and its implications you are at a major disadvantage if not dead in the water."

However of course it does have major benefits; when on the road you have email on the move enabling fast responses plus with free applications like Waze you can interact with other road warriors on real sharing of live traffic news, no longer the need to have the car atlas and stop and ask directions in that petrol station!"

Q. Sam, how did the technology revolution take place?

Sam notes:

"It all kicked off in 1983 when Martin Cooper (working for Motorola) invented the mobile phone (the first call was to a rival telecommunications company informing them he was calling through a mobile device!)1.

However mobile phones didn't integrate into society as quick as recent technologies (iPads, Amazon etc) but by the time the 90's came around (with Nokia exploding onto the scene) the world shifted to mobile communication.

Suddenly sales teams were able to call their head office to negotiate, call prospects remotely and even check in for directions.

Of course the next big shift came with the internet; at this point communication accelerated beyond comprehension and brought with it Google Maps, Email and LinkedIn.

"89% of marketers said email was their primary channel for lead generation. (Forrester Research)2 ."

Sales teams could now thoroughly research prospects on Google and Linkedin before calling. Mobiles (and later Tablets) advanced to connect to the internet allowing product showcasing and emailing to take place despite being away from a computer."

Q. Hold on? With this big shift in technology has it not brought disadvantages?

Ian continues:

"Potentially, customers now know more about you than ever before, with reports indicating that customers have done 60-80% of research before you are even engaged3. Previously a prospective client's view on you would be from your engagement, data sheets and any 1st hand experience or reference.

Today a customer can not only research all about you, but also the competition, how you compare and have live access to real customer feedback from very open social media."

Q. So what's happened since the internet revolution?

Sam continues: "We now see Marketing Automation and CRM Software as the norm for most B2B sales teams.

According to Focus Research: "Marketing automation has seen the fastest growth of any CRM-related segment in the last 5 years." 4.

Take for example Hubspot, entering the market at what appeared to be perfect timing they grew from zero to 8,440 customers in their first year and have since grown into a billion dollar company 5.

Google_Trends_-_Marketing_Automation.png

Throughout this period CRM (Customer Relationship Management) systems also scaled and advanced; starting out at not much more than a digital phonebook.

They evolved to integrate with Finance, Marketing Automation and Email systems allowing sales teams to rapidly see a complete profile and health of  leads remotely allowing a stronger focus on the right type of leads.

Both of these solutions meant a shift occurred with sales teams spending less time travelling from door-to-door and more time creating stronger prospect profiles and pitches.

Will this continue? I believe  so, Gartner Research suggests by 2020 customers will manage 85% of their relationship without talking to a human! 7. So marketing automation will become further ingrained; quietly selling in the background to allow sales teams to knock on more half opened doors.

Q. So Ian, how can Sales teams keep up and use this technology as an advantage?

Ian: "As customers get increasingly comfortable with self service the danger you face is that on products where you cannot wrap service and value around them, the customer can find, research and procure without even engaging with you!  Margins in this area are tighter than ever and customers can often be comparing prices from around the world. No longer are you only up against localised regional suppliers!

You better research your customer before you engage, they will expect this. Don't go asking what they do, or show your lack of preparation as in today's world there is no room for excuses.

You can research them and their organisation through Linkedin (who else are you mutually connected to?), Facebook, Twitter, Duedil, their web site and of course your CRM giving you any history and engagement they have had with your organisation from marketing campaigns, enquiries and prior calls and meetings."

Q. Thanks, do you have any final thoughts on the future?

Ian: "Delivery methods are changing and where a service can be provided online in comparison to the traditional bricks & mortar approach - Seller beware!

Take Blockbuster, ripped out of existence by the likes of Netflix and LoveFilm. Ensure you have true value to the client to protect against the pure breed online competitor taking the 'wind out of your sales'!

Sales has changed and will continue to do so, empowered by technology, the salesperson and the customer will increasingly engage in new ways and the ability to adapt will be key in the sales persons arsenal."

Sam: "It's important to stay on top of the trends in technology, unfortunately it's also very easy to get lost in all the noise and forget the fundamentals. Take for example the recent shift to accessing the web via mobile phones, despite the hype; our own websites mobile traffic  only counts for around 5% of our total traffic:

overal-traffic-vs-mobile.jpg

Use technology to aid in selling your product (or services) but don't let it replace building that customer relationship. Focus on building a great product that delivers real world value to your customers and you're 75% there."


Produced by:

Sam-Jefferies.png

Sam Jefferies: Digital Marketing Executive for Workbooks CRM - Providing CRM Software aimed at small to medium sized businesses.
To find out more sign up for our 30 Day Free Trial.

Ian Moyse: Sales Leader for Rackspace and Board Member of Eurocloud.

Ian-Moyse_1.png


References:

1. Richard Goodwin, 2015. The History of Mobile Phones. [Online] Available at: http://www.knowyourmobile.com/nokia/nokia-3310/19848/history-mobile-phones-1973-2008-handsets-made-it-all-happen [04/06/2015]

2. Forrester Research, 2015. Marketers Lead Generation. [Online] Available at: https://www.forrester.com/home/ [04/06/2015]

3. Adam Eaton, 2015. Does the Hunter / Farmer Still Exist in Today's Digital Buying Cycle. [Online] Available at: http://www.pulsant.com/does-the-hunter-farmer-still-exist-in-todays-digital-buying-cycle/ [04/06/2015]

4. Focus Research, 2015. Marketing Automation Growth. [Online] Available at: http://www.focusmr.com/ [04/06/2015]

5. Growth Hackers, 2015. HubSpot - How to Grow a Billion Dollar B2B Growth Engine [Online] Available at: https://growthhackers.com/companies/hubspot/ [04/06/2015]

6. Google Trends, 2015. Marketing Automation 2006 - 2015 [Online] Available at:

https://www.google.co.uk/trends/explore#q=marketing%20automation&date=1%2F2006%20109m&cmpt=q&tz= [04/06/2015]

7. Gartner Research, 2015. Managing future relationships [Online] Available at: http://www.gartner.com/technology/research.jsp [04/06/2015]

More Stories By Sam Jefferies

Sam Jefferies works for Workbooks.com; A functional CRM system which offers 50-70% more value than Salesforce.

@ThingsExpo Stories
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, whic...
BnkToTheFuture.com is the largest online investment platform for investing in FinTech, Bitcoin and Blockchain companies. We believe the future of finance looks very different from the past and we aim to invest and provide trading opportunities for qualifying investors that want to build a portfolio in the sector in compliance with international financial regulations.
Imagine if you will, a retail floor so densely packed with sensors that they can pick up the movements of insects scurrying across a store aisle. Or a component of a piece of factory equipment so well-instrumented that its digital twin provides resolution down to the micrometer.
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life settle...
Product connectivity goes hand and hand these days with increased use of personal data. New IoT devices are becoming more personalized than ever before. In his session at 22nd Cloud Expo | DXWorld Expo, Nicolas Fierro, CEO of MIMIR Blockchain Solutions, will discuss how in order to protect your data and privacy, IoT applications need to embrace Blockchain technology for a new level of product security never before seen - or needed.
Leading companies, from the Global Fortune 500 to the smallest companies, are adopting hybrid cloud as the path to business advantage. Hybrid cloud depends on cloud services and on-premises infrastructure working in unison. Successful implementations require new levels of data mobility, enabled by an automated and seamless flow across on-premises and cloud resources. In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Tevis, an IBM Storage Software Technical Strategist and Customer Solution Architec...
Nordstrom is transforming the way that they do business and the cloud is the key to enabling speed and hyper personalized customer experiences. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Ken Schow, VP of Engineering at Nordstrom, discussed some of the key learnings and common pitfalls of large enterprises moving to the cloud. This includes strategies around choosing a cloud provider(s), architecture, and lessons learned. In addition, he covered some of the best practices for structured team migration an...
No hype cycles or predictions of a gazillion things here. IoT is here. You get it. You know your business and have great ideas for a business transformation strategy. What comes next? Time to make it happen. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jay Mason, an Associate Partner of Analytics, IoT & Cybersecurity at M&S Consulting, presented a step-by-step plan to develop your technology implementation strategy. He also discussed the evaluation of communication standards and IoT messaging protocols, data...
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Raju Shreewastava, founder of Big Data Trunk, provided a fun and simple way to introduce Machine Leaning to anyone and everyone. He solved a machine learning problem and demonstrated an easy way to be able to do machine learning without even coding. Raju Shreewastava is the founder of Big Data Trunk (www.BigDataTrunk.com), a Big Data Training and consulting firm with offices in the United States. He previously led the data warehouse/business intelligence and B...
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
When shopping for a new data processing platform for IoT solutions, many development teams want to be able to test-drive options before making a choice. Yet when evaluating an IoT solution, it’s simply not feasible to do so at scale with physical devices. Building a sensor simulator is the next best choice; however, generating a realistic simulation at very high TPS with ease of configurability is a formidable challenge. When dealing with multiple application or transport protocols, you would be...
Smart cities have the potential to change our lives at so many levels for citizens: less pollution, reduced parking obstacles, better health, education and more energy savings. Real-time data streaming and the Internet of Things (IoT) possess the power to turn this vision into a reality. However, most organizations today are building their data infrastructure to focus solely on addressing immediate business needs vs. a platform capable of quickly adapting emerging technologies to address future ...
We are given a desktop platform with Java 8 or Java 9 installed and seek to find a way to deploy high-performance Java applications that use Java 3D and/or Jogl without having to run an installer. We are subject to the constraint that the applications be signed and deployed so that they can be run in a trusted environment (i.e., outside of the sandbox). Further, we seek to do this in a way that does not depend on bundling a JRE with our applications, as this makes downloads and installations rat...
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
DX World EXPO, LLC, a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
In this strange new world where more and more power is drawn from business technology, companies are effectively straddling two paths on the road to innovation and transformation into digital enterprises. The first path is the heritage trail – with “legacy” technology forming the background. Here, extant technologies are transformed by core IT teams to provide more API-driven approaches. Legacy systems can restrict companies that are transitioning into digital enterprises. To truly become a lead...
Digital Transformation (DX) is not a "one-size-fits all" strategy. Each organization needs to develop its own unique, long-term DX plan. It must do so by realizing that we now live in a data-driven age, and that technologies such as Cloud Computing, Big Data, the IoT, Cognitive Computing, and Blockchain are only tools. In her general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Rebecca Wanta explained how the strategy must focus on DX and include a commitment from top management to create great IT jobs, monitor ...
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
The IoT Will Grow: In what might be the most obvious prediction of the decade, the IoT will continue to expand next year, with more and more devices coming online every single day. What isn’t so obvious about this prediction: where that growth will occur. The retail, healthcare, and industrial/supply chain industries will likely see the greatest growth. Forrester Research has predicted the IoT will become “the backbone” of customer value as it continues to grow. It is no surprise that retail is ...