How Salespeople Can Stay Relevant In the Digital Age
Technological advances in the sales world have been mostly positive thus far, but many salespeople fear their ability to stay relevant in the digital age. The dystopian fears of technology replacing salespeople are far from accurate, though. Technology won’t replace salespeople, but they do need to remake themselves to succeed in a technology-driven future. John Barrows, interviewed by John Golden, gives critical insights into how salespeople can excel in this technological revolution.
In this sales expert interview, John Barrows discusses:
- Why the average salesperson will become irrelevant
- The importance of creating context, not just content
- How to prepare to stay relevant in the digital age
Don’t be average
“Before I was educated, I was convinced we were all getting replaced,” said Barrows. “But, now that I’m educated on it, I think good sales reps will become great, great sales reps will become incredible, and average sales reps will become irrelevant.”
Content vs. Context
Barrows has some key strategies for how to avoid being an average, soon to be irrelevant, salesperson. Part of the strategy involves understanding content versus context. “If content is King, then context is God,” said Barrows. “Marketing is content; sales is context. If we as salespeople aren’t putting quality context around our content, then we’re no different than marketing.”
Altering social media is a specific change that salespeople can make to stay relevant in the digital age. If a salesperson is retweeting other people, and re-sharing the same content, with no context, it becomes irrelevant. Instead, Barrows suggests adding your own opinion before sharing to add context to the content. Read the article, understand the specific points that are relevant to you and your consumers, and then add your insight before sending it out to your followers. Retweeting and sharing content is something that technology an automate. Creating mindful context, though? Not so much. In the video, Barrows shares two other vital tips for how to stay relevant in the digital age using context.
The thought of creating context might seem daunting. After all, salespeople have a plethora of other tasks and duties to do on a daily basis. However, if you look at the task as a means of educating yourself, it can change your perspective on things. Many people spend their mornings reading the newspaper or browsing social media. Barrows, on the other hand, advocates that salespeople spend that time educating themselves on the things that are relevant to their field and what puts bread on their table. Utilizing tools like Feedly, Owler, and Sales Navigator, you can educate yourself on information about your industry, your contacts, and your personas. After finding something that is relevant and stands out as significant, add your opinion to the content, and then share it with your added context.
The Importance of Preparation
If you look at a salespersons calendar, you’ll probably see a pretty full schedule of meetings. But what you’re not likely to see is the prep time that is required for each meeting. Barrows stresses the importance of doing homework and prep work to prepare. Another piece of tactical advice that he has is to create a checklist to prepare quickly. Include your agenda and goals for the call, the companies website, the people that will be on the call, and a few nuggets that are useful for striking up a conversation. With this little bit of prep work, you’ll sound ready and knowledgeable. Additionally, you will communicate that you’ve researched the company. And most importantly, it gives you the ability to focus and be present during the call.
For more tips on how to stay relevant in the digital age, watch the video!
About Our Host
John is the Amazon bestselling author of Winning the Battle for Sales: Lessons on Closing Every Deal from the World’s Greatest Military Victories and Social Upheaval: How to Win at Social Selling. A globally acknowledged Sales & Marketing thought leader, speaker, and strategist. He is CSMO at Pipeliner CRM. In his spare time, John is an avid Martial Artist.