My how things have changed since 1991. Back then, you were a bright-eyed twenty- (or thirty-) something sales/marketing tenderfoot. One that blared U2 and The Police on the way to work, and remained untainted by the politics of business. One that just needed a lead sheet and a 90's cordless telephone to drum up business. You probably loved the movie Wall Street, and aspired to make a comfortable living.
Fast-forward twenty years and you realize you were living in Plato's cave. What you thought you knew about sales in 1991 turns out to be the tip of the iceberg. Let's take a look at just how far we've come - here are 10 ways that sales techniques are different:
1. The "art of selling" has now become the "science of selling."
The salesman of 1991 has effort and brute force on his side. The salesperson of 2011 has more of an instruction manual, complete with metrics, methodologies, and technology. He uses these things to fine tune his process.
2. Sales management can now dissect the sale.
3. The sales funnel has gone from opaque to transparent.
4. There are not-so-subtle nuances to selling major accounts versus traditional small transaction sales.
5. Closed-loop automation has helped unite sales and marketing departments.
6. Sales staffs have become more compartmentalized.
7. CRM has allowed sales departments unprecedented views into their prospect base and current customers.
8. If used right, the company website is an indispensible weapon in the sales arsenal.
9. More sophisticated frameworks and processes guide the efforts of the sales department.
10. Contact data is just a click away.
11. Companies now have the viable option to outsource sales.
All in all, we should be thankful that these changes have occurred. I'm looking forward to seeing what selling in 2031 will be like.