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Transforming Your Sales Team into a Modern Sales Engagement Machine

Dreamforce 2016 is officially underway, and we’re live blogging some of our favorite sessions right here on the SalesLoft blog. First up, Kyle Porter and friends take the stage to introduce the new era of sales: the modern sales organization. As the traditional and conventional sales companies evolve, modern sales organizations are emerging in a way that is transforming the entire industry of sales.

But let’s go back to the beginning. What’s the oldest industry in the world? The industry of sales.

Companies make the world go ’round, and the purpose of all companies is to grow. Everybody is in the sales business. The only difference is that some have sales teams, while others are sales organizations.
Screen Shot 2016-10-04 at 12.43.37 PMUnfortunately, when it comes to “having a sales team,” sales gets a bad rap. Many conventional sellers have left a bad impression on the sales industry, and covering that impression has been like painting over permanent marker. If you’ve screened a sales call in the last 24 hours, then you know what I’m talking about here.

Thankfully, the best companies in the world today are making a transformation to the modern sales era and erasing that bad mark on the sales industry. Here are a few ways the stigmas of conventional selling are transforming:

– Where conventional sales can be uninformed — companies operating without the data of who to sell or how to sell to them — modern sales is analytical, informational, and insightful.

– Where conventional sales can be selfish — reps operating with their own objectives first — modern sales is empathetic, putting the needs of the customer above all else.

– Where conventional sales can be sloppy — people operating without accountability or motivation — modern sales is organized, intentional, and focused.

– Where conventional sales can be low tempo — teams performing slowly and falling behind on productivity and results — modern sales is quick, scalable, process-oriented, guided by the light of new technology.

– Where conventional sales can be insincere — reps trying to close the deal without caring — modern sales is honest, connected, and purpose-driven.

As the traditional and conventional notions of sales transforms, the modern sales organization is emerging as the antithesis of everything that’s wrong with conventional sales. This is the promised land of sales. And SalesLoft was built to get you there, to offer a modern sales engagement platform that includes phone, email, social Cadence as well as an ecosystem of API partners, accountability for your team, and analytics to help you improve your sales processes.

Kyle is joined in this journey to the modern sales era by 3 of the top leaders in modern sales:

Trish Bertuzzi, President of The Bridge Group, author of the #1 Amazon bestseller, The Sales Development Playbook, and veteran of two decades of service to the inside sales profession.

John Barrows, sales trainer to the world’s best companies like Salesforce.com, Box, Linkedin, and founder of SalesFromTheStreets. A prolific blogger and speaker, John is a leader of the modern sales movement.

And Craig Rosenberg, Founder of TOPO, author of Funnelholic.com, and B2B leader who’s helping companies grow revenue by enabling sales, marketing, and sales development excellence.

The sales profession needs an update, and these sales professionals are talking about more than just an updated approach or strategy document. Modern sales is a fundamental shift in the way your entire organization functions, and in order to do this, you need to be completely customer-obsessed. It’s technology-enabled and hyper-effective. In today’s competitive landscape, your sales team can’t afford to fall behind.

And that starts with sales. Here are a few of these leaders’ tips on how to make modern sales personal, data-driven, and customer-centric: 

What’s the biggest sales mistake you see companies make today? According to Craig, it’s “not thinking about the buyer experience from marketing to sales, and not making it as personal and relevant as possible is the biggest mistake companies make.” Customers today require a well-rounded experience, and that starts with their first impression of the brand.

According to John, it should be fully integrated, “Marketing should be paired with an SDR and an AE in the same way sales reps are paired together. Why not put a marketing person in that pod to come up with marketing that works, right on the front lines?”

But while brand and marketing is key, Trish is more concerned with that first touchpoint sales teams are making, “Your opening email should say something personal to me, show me your interested in helping me build a better business, and go from there… It’s all about pattern interrupt. Just be different.”

You want to get that pattern interrupt? Take Craig’s advice, “Establish value without requiring any reciprocal response. We’ve got to be thinking about delivering value across the entire lifecycle of a customer.” And within that lifecycle, you have to consider how you’re connecting with these customers. Based on John’s experience, “it’s a contact game. What’s the story you’re telling? It’s about the touchpoints and the cadence.”

Today’s buyers are different, so reaching them must be different, as well. Trish’s customers “may be more informed, but we know more about [them] than ever before. You’ve got to have a consistent strategy for how you’re going to go after these people. You need to be consistent in message, approach, and tone.”

But all of the technology and automation in the world can’t recreate what modern sales is all about: the authentic customer experience. So what is modern sales to you?

“Modern sales is creative and thoughtful. Technology is not the answer” -John Barrows

“Modern sales is having a leader that leads from the front, and is engaged with their sales team. They actually know what’s going on with their team.” -Trish Bertuzzi

“Modern sales brings technology and traditional selling together at scale. The merger of tech and process with the fundamentals of great engagement.” -Craig Rosenberg

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