Business information written specifically for newspaper advertising departments

Looking Ahead

What's on the horizon for sales technology
With this and the New Year on the forefront of minds in the sales field, Geoffrey James wrote the Inc. article, “The Future of Sales Technology,” to address what lies ahead for sales technology. We believe his assessments could be very valuable to you and your ad department, as you look for new ways to offer readers and advertisers the best product possible.

The sales industry — especially newspaper sales and ad departments — needs to be on the edge of technology in order to stay in the game. Anyone who still denies the advertising capacity of Craigslist or the prevalence of mobile and social media will undoubtedly have difficulty staying relevant next to their tech-savvy competitors. With this and the New Year on the forefront of minds in the sales field, Geoffrey James wrote the Inc. article, “The Future of Sales Technology,” to address what lies ahead for sales technology, which will be focused on in a chapter of his upcoming book about the future of sales. We believe his assessments could be very valuable to you and your ad department, as you look for new ways to offer readers and advertisers the best product possible.

Cold Calling Will Become a Thing of the Past

Technology and new policies have already started the groundwork for writing cold calling out of the modern sales department. For one, people rarely answer calls from numbers they don’t recognize. In fact, they hardly use voicemail. This, of course, is not breaking news. Telemarketing companies have tried to circumnavigate this with things like autodialing. But now, the FTC’s “Do Not Call List” has made cold calling even more difficult. In its place, forward-thinking salespeople have found that using social networks to build authentic customer relationships creates more effective lead generation.

More Data-Driven Management and Training

Data has always been a large component in the sales industry, however, when it comes to building a successful sales team, data has been inconsistent and unclear. Managers have a hard time telling if their training and management style truly play a role in boosting revenue and building a successful sales team. Consequently, managers rely on their traditional understanding of what makes for a good salesperson, and as James pointed out in his article, “Companies spend billions of dollars every year on sales training that attempt to ‘clone’ the winning behaviors of top salespeople, even though there’s no data to show that such training improves overall sales performance.” But now, customer relationship management systems offer more surveys and data-gathering abilities to better analyze sales reps’ performances. These metrics tend to undercut the traditional notions of what makes for good sales people and training.

Video Chat Will Become More Prevalent

With video chat software like Skype becoming available on more devices, like smartphones and tablets, James believes that video chatting and conferencing will play a larger role in the sales industry. In fact, he found that many people actually prefer video chatting in comparison to other modes of communication. As a result, James proposes that video chatting will become more frequently used for conference calls, meetings, training, online events and customer service.