The sales landscape has drastically changed in the last decade. The rise of technologies such as CRM, sales, marketing automation and social selling has lead to a paradigm shift in the sales process. These technologies have not only redefined lead generation and nurturing tactics, but have also played a part in changing the structure of sales organizations. As a result, Fusemachines has witnessed companies adapting to an inside sales model at an exponential rate.
Previously, sales professionals talked about their product, service features and benefits to make a sale. They used techniques such as cold calling and mass email campaigns to reach out to their prospects. Extensive product demo was also one of the major sales tactics.
Today, customers have an immense amount of information about brands beforehand. All they have to do is go online and research the product or service they are interested in buying – leaving the buyer with more power than ever before. The shift in the sales process has compelled sales people to work on new tactics and strategies to sell their product or service. This change has compelled us to reflect on the future of sales strategy and what to expect as technology continues to advance. We sat down with Fusemachines Senior Sales Consultant, Carol Bunevich, to discuss where sales is heading.
Sales Consultant is the New Salesperson
According to Carol, today’s salesperson has to be a sales consultant. As a sales consultant, her role is to self-learn about the prospects and understand their pain points, instead of boasting about a product or service. In addition, she needs to make prospects believe that she can help solve their problems. Since this is an age of personalization, a salesperson also needs to add a personal touch to connect with their prospects.
Sales and Marketing Automation has Flipped the Funnel
She further states that the creation of sales and marketing automation has “flipped the funnel.” With the help of sales and marketing automation tools, businesses can identify and study their ideal customer profile and connect with them at the right time. She explains that there were AI sales and marketing tools 10-15 years ago, but they were expensive and were only used by Fortune 500 companies. Today, the scenario has changed as tools are now available at fair price points and even small companies can afford advanced technology tools. Now the challenge is figuring out which tools to use because there are too many tools with similar features and benefits.
Helpful Tips for the New Sales Era
- Identify and study your ICP, ideal customer profile, to understand who are the best prospects
- Being a good listener is more important than showcasing a demo
- Never do a demo in a first meeting
- Whether you use one or another sales method, understanding your customers and their problems is very important
- Open communication is critical to any sales process
- Marketing and sales should work hand-in-hand
- Sales today is more about educating prospects and building trust
Sales Model at Fusemachines
The sales strategy we use at Fusemachines is cold calling 2.0, which, in fact is warm calling. This approach includes various outbound techniques including AI lead generation and email marketing to develop a relationship with a prospect before making a call. The goal at Fusemachines is to use a combination of both outbound and inbound marketing to generate sales ready leads. Our AI tool analyzes the big data signals across the web to help us find the right leads. This allows us to not just reach the right Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) but also allows us to reach out at the right time.
Moreover, there are four different ways we prospect.
- Outreach is our primary sales tactic. We use our AI tool to find the people who need our service. We create an ICP and tailor an outreach campaign.
- Inbound is a long-term process where we create content that interests and educates our potential customers that we can later convert, close, and involve over time.
- Referral is used as a secondary marketing effort at Fusemachines. Referrals are fantastic leads. However, referrals are very difficult to forecast. However, we use a variety of referral strategies to influence our customers to drive more referrals.
- Events We participate and organize various sales and technology related events. SalesTech.io is our Meetup. Events are great for education and networking. People may or may not be ready to do business with us, but they can be nurtured, and the relationship can be gradually developed.