Find us on Google+ Google

Duct Tape is Not a Sales or Marketing Tool!

by Miles Austin

Close
Duct Tape is Not a Sales or Marketing Tool!

I’ve been a Sales VP and a President of a company. I’ve also been a sales rep in various levels and industries most of my life. This experience has helped me recognize when duct tape is the tool of choice. What I have learned over the last 5 years since starting Fill the Funnel is there is a lot of duct tape in use. Judging from the books on the business shelf at my local bookstore, duct tape is in high demand.

Is duct tape holding your team together?

 

Your back at work, the holiday stories have all run their course. It is typically a time with lots of NEW in the air – new quotas, new territories, new comp plan, new prospects and new optimism.

There are other companies where SAME OLD is in the air, with duct tape everywhere holding things together as best it can. Judging from the business shelf at the local bookstore, duct tape might be the ultimate tool for business, but I believe other tools hold more promise.

Sales leaders that are dragging their feet on implementing sales web tools and social tools are strangling the productivity of their sales teams. This impact of this hesitation to deploy new tools has been camouflaged over the last few years due to a slow economy. Most indicators point to 2013 being a much improved sales environment, and if true, will expose those who have not invested in the training and deployment of the new generation of web tools. Amplifying this will be that it is not just a light switch process to implement. Process and more significantly, habits will take some time to embrace and integrate. Sales leaders that have been putting these decisions off run significant risk of being exposed in the near term.

Sales people might be in the same situation as their leaders, having brushed off social tools and not invested in sales web tools that can be implemented by themselves, without company involvement. What has already started to become apparent in many sales teams is that those who have educated themselves on the new sales realities and the approaches and tools that leverage these changes are now delivering stronger results than their peers.

It is time to start ripping off the duct tape. It is holding you back and will ultimately be the reason for your demise. If you, an individual sales person are still waiting for your company to provide tools and training, you run the risk of ultimate failure. It is time to take action, to make the decision to Bring Your Own Tools (BYOT) into your sales life. Take charge of your results and learn how sales tools like InsideView, LinkedIn, ToutApp, Mailchimp, Paper.li and many others can and will improve your sales results.

There is a whole lot more to talk about on BYOT and the implications and I am looking forward to share not only my thoughts and ideas on this topic, but the experiences of many others that are already putting these ideas into practice.

Do you have duct tape in your company? Are you ready to start ripping it off?

10 comments
leadcreation
leadcreation

Great post - a quick fix won't stick, particularly in B2B marketing! It's all about relationship marketing, which requires time, effort and patience to establish a long term relationship with your target market.

SethDavid
SethDavid

Thanks for this! I have to check out ToutApp. I have several papers on Paper.Li and I would add (along the same lines) that Twylah is a super powerful paper.li type tool. Maybe even better! I also agree that face to face is best. 

I know a guy who reaches out to local people on LinkedIN and invites them to a local restaurant where he gives them a presentation on how to use LinkedIN to grow their business. His closing rate on this is about 3-4/25 every time he does this. He spends about $350 on the room and more than doubles his money every time. I am thinking about starting to do something similar for my own business. 

A few other tools I like:

  • The Brain
  • Zoho Projects
  • Google Docs (of course - for sharing and collaboration)
  • Google Plus Hangouts, Hangouts On Air, and Communities - I think this cannot be ignored - you can grab an audience, share your screen and present while streaming and recording live right on YouTube. This is where you're really harnessing the power of the internet!!

@stefanlubinski Paper.Li lets you aggregate twitter content based on a list or on a hashtag and publishes an online newspaper in which it mentions people who's tweets are included from your twitter account. This makes it a powerful sales tool because it helps build your twitter following thereby exposing you to more people who are interested in what interests you. Here's an idea. Create a list on twitter comprised of sales targets - people you would like to do business with (or who can refer you business). Then build a paper based on that. What them start following you because you keep mentioning them and including their tweets. Now you have created an opportunity to engage with them. @milesaustin Have I got that about right?

stefanlubinski
stefanlubinski

Great post! I had not heard of ToutApp before, and I am excited now that I've seen their video. It looks very promising. 

What I would love to know is how Paper.li made it on the list. I would love to know how you suggest to use it in a sales capacity. Thanks, and I look forward to more of your posts!

LinkedInExpert
LinkedInExpert

Great article Miles - 

Also - who did your intro and outro - love it :))

Short and engaging!

V



Tom Rochford
Tom Rochford

@milesaustin Thanks for the follow-up comments.  Puts everything into perspective, like the mix of phone and iPad.  Looking forward to more great information!

Tom Rochford
Tom Rochford

Could it be that part of the problem is not recognizing the value of proven "older" technologies.  It seems important to me to keep the best of everything as long as it is working.  Something like a telephone call instead of an email could do wonders with the right customer or prospect. 

Let people know you care.  Nothing says your just a number in my funnel than a form email calling them to action.  Everything old is new again!

Enjoyed the post - thanks for helping us remove the Duct tape!

Edward Mcallister
Edward Mcallister

That is step 1 in using the Innovation Theory in the job!  Especially when opening a new account or territory because the innovation is more often Disruptive rather than Sustaining.

milesaustin
milesaustin moderator

@SethDavid Thanks for adding to the conversation Seth! Agree with your observations about Google + and Hangouts. Paper.li is a flexible tool and your recommendation on how to use it for sales will deliver results. I have found several tools that were not designed for sales use but have been able to adapt them for sales results with a bit of "out-of-the-box" thinking.

I hope to see you continue to add your thoughts in future posts.

milesaustin
milesaustin moderator

@stefanlubinski Stefan, I think you will be impressed with the power of ToutApp. As far as Paper.li as a sales tool, I shared some of my experiences on this during a roundtable that was held back in December with several of my friends in the Sales 2.0 arena at http://youtu.be/w9lGoF0ulsc. You can listen to one of the ways that  I have used it as a business development tool that begins at 23:16 into the video.  I encourage you to listen to the entire session to learn about 30 other productive tools for sales professionals. Great question!

milesaustin
milesaustin moderator

@Tom Rochford I agree completely that older does not mean ineffective. I am still a believer of face to face whenever possible. Next would be voice to voice from my experience. The challenge with these is the inability to scale. With ever-increasing sales targets and fewer sales people to cover it all we have ended up with quite a dilemna for sales leaders and sales rep alike. 

The tools that I write about at Fill the Funnel can help to make up some ground by leveraging the newest technology in smart new ways. Nothing wrong with using both a phone and a GPS-enabled iPad app to connect with more people that need our services each day or to automate the tedious completion of call reports, expense reports and forecasting. 

Thanks for jumping into the discussion and hope to read more from you in the near future.

Previous post:

Next post: