“The more things change, the more they stay the same.” The reason why sayings like this are timeless is the fact that they are rooted in truth.
There is a lot of buzz about tools and technologies to help with the process of turning leads into sales opportunities and then turning opportunities into deals. The so called “space” is most commonly referred to as Sales Acceleration.
The Sales Acceleration space started with automated dialers and has now included dozens of technologies and services to help sales people communicate with their prospects, get more appointments, present their solutions, follow-up on their proposals and close deals. At the last conference I attended, there were no fewer than 45 vendors showing off their wares to “accelerate sales”.
This got me to thinking. Is Sales Acceleration really new? After all “Cloud” solutions have been around for 50 years. We just used to call them ASPs (Application Service Providers) and before that “Time-sharing” (old farts like me know what that is. If you are a millennial – here is the Wikipedia entry for time-sharing).
I listed out all the tools in the Sales Acceleration space, thought long and hard and asked myself which types of technologies have had the greatest impact on accelerating sales. Here are my top three:
- The telephone
Yes, these ARE the original Sales Acceleration tools. While not sexy, new or shiny; mastering these three tools will accelerate sales more than anything else. Let’s take a closer look
The telephone is still the most effective Sales Acceleration tool out there. Those who say cold calling is dead or not effective either sell some other Sales Acceleration technology or just haven’t figured out how to use the phone effectively. As sales people get further into their sales cycle, we see sales people using the phone less and less to communicate with their prospects. The only thing that is better for a seller than real time, voice-to-voice communication with a prospect is face-to-face communication with that prospect.
Email is the most dominant means of business communication but if you don’t know when, how and the circumstances to send an email, you will fail to maximize the medium. Email travels with people. They store them on their computer and their phone. Email is also easy to forward and circulate.
And last and not least, there is this thing called “Google”. With the push of a button, you can find out massive insights for FREE. Yes, there are other tools out there that are very good for getting information, but did I mention FREE?
Sales Acceleration is an exciting space with great innovations. Let’s make sure we don’t forsake these technological predecessors for the next new shiny object.