What is "Sales Innovation?"
By Mark Blezard
I've always thought that not enough is spoken about ‘innovation’ in selling. We frequently reference the sales path, Consultative selling, the Directional path, Spin selling, Challenger model, etc., etc., but these are sales methodologies.
Sales innovation is all about being innovative – standing out from the crowd, apart from the other executives knocking on your client’s door.
The bottom line is, we need to reinvent ourselves on a weekly basis. Stop cutting and pasting stock email replies. Stop saying the same old thing when cold calling or leaving a voicemail and assuming you've done the best you could. It is time to take a look at everything we do and set a goal to change at least one element per week.
It may sound like one extra burden on your desk but it actually isn’t. I guarantee you that not only is it fun, but it will also reignite your enjoyment of selling.
Everything is changing. The telephone, once the weapon of choice for a sales professional, fell out of favor. Then the industry turned to emails, salesrooms fell silent bar the tapping of keyboards, pinging out 'pitches' that now bounce uselessly off firewalls and filters.
No. It is time to innovate and rethink how you sell. Real selling is about finding new leads and getting them to engage with you. To do this you need new hooks in new ponds.
There are now hundreds of new ponds where you can fish: LinkedIn, Twitter, WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram – each and every one with multiple ways in which you can introduce the solution to a prospect’s problems. Think of it this way. If you’ve been knocking on the front door for a month and no one answers – try the back door!
As well as being innovative in your approach, you also have to be innovative with your opening line, your lead engagement content. What is going to make you interesting? If nothing else, remember that selling is an interaction between two human beings. When you go home after work you don’t sit down and read the technical manuals for your domestic appliances, do you? No, you, like your prospects, are a human being and you will do whatever is pleasurable at that point. So, don’t make your contact point a ‘technical manual’: make it fun, humorous, pleasurable and, above all, personal.
It’s also important to remember that the internet has changed the way we read. We no longer read left to right, top to bottom. We scan for bite-sized snippets of relevant information. This is important to know and understand for your touch-point introduction. It needs to quickly grab the attention, to be professionally packaged with colour and fun, and be delivered personally by you – a fellow human being!
This touch-point content is what you must reinvent on a weekly basis. So, innovate, don’t become stale. There are multiple different ways of reaching your goal.
When one door closes – another is left on the latch for you to push. There is another way!