In many types of businesses a salesman is required to close sales. This is not only true for big ticket items like cars and airplanes, but a myriad of different types of businesses too numerous to be named.
Even for most of the items on your grocery store shelves, a salesman probably was involved to get the supermarket manager or chain, interested enough to provide shelf space for that particular product at some point in time. Even though new automation marketing may provide prospect data and up to the minute d detailed information on how your prospects interact on your website, this information alone will usually not close the sale.
This is quite obvious basic information, of course, but no company with a CRM system (Customer Relationship Management) software should be unclear that the CRM software is merely a tool to provide additional data for the salesperson, and to help find the prospects who are ready, willing, and able to buy at the current time.
Face to face visits, (when possible), phone calls, Skype calls, webinar events, presentations, etc. are where sales are made. Everything else is just background to the actual sale. Sometimes the amount of data can be a little distracting, but keeping all eyes on the prize should prevent this.
The relationship between the salesman and the customer is the most critical one a business has, and all the advertising in the world, cannot substitute for the personal relationship that exists there.
Sales and marketing managers also need to make sure that this fundamental level of contact with the customer is taken care of. Tracking calls, visits, and all of these one-to-one connections with prospects is just as critical as the detailed information you receive from a CRM, if not of greater importance. CRM systems, once costly propositions restricted to entrerprise-level companies are now highly affordable, even for the smallest business.
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Alan Zibluk – Markethive Founding Member