Some say Brexit is responsible for companies holding back on their sales activities. Others say its responsible for increasingly hostile environment. But companies can hardly insulate themselves from Brexit no more than they can be insulated from the need to grow their business. Its the "Whatever" that cannot be dismissed. More particularly, the tectonic technology shifts that have been going on over the last few years.
There are two big challenges in 2017 for those implementing sales strategy. How to make the most effective use of increasing amounts of available data. And secondly, how much to rely on digital marketing over interactions involving 'humans'. No one would deny that digital marketing isn't making great strides across our lives and how businesses communicate. But its wholesale promotion that should be questioned, as for example, like a recent proclamation that 'Digital technology is the only way forward for NHS sustainability'.
Consider the supermarket retailer that now reaches out online to great swarms of customers. Orders are delivered by fleets of vehicles, but a friendly human lifts those kitchen crates into the kitchen and helpfully checks any substitutions with you. In fact it feels a more personalised service compared to negotiating shopping aisles with meaningful human contact restricted to saying hello to a friend, then creeping around like a burglar to avoid seeing them again.
There's no panacea of course, for competing in a hostile environment. And in the B2B environment a sales strategy that increasingly relies on a digital marketing strategy is rather missing the point. It is, of course, how the tools in the box are used in combination to achieve the best results.
Increasingly, companies that endlessly cold-called prospects about whom they know nothing are ending....phew! Instead more companies are recognising that with careful targeting, research and digital marketing, human interactions can continue to play a vital part. So what's todays B2B equivalent of the human that delivers supermarket order? Ok, obviously a salesperson who meets with the prospect and closes the deal is still crucial for most organisations. But then, there's still a roles for a skilled tele-marketeer, armed with knowledge about the prospect, powered through social media, personalising digital communications to open the door for the sales person.