The role of the salesperson is rapidly changing. As customers receive greater access to online product information, YouTube-based tutorials, and self-serve checkouts, salespeople are being contacted much later in the sales cycle, or being avoided altogether. Therefore, building customer relationships and cultivating loyalty has become more important than ever.  

Lately, customers have been calling for personalised and unique interactions with businesses and their salespeople. Here are 3 new ways you can strengthen your position in the industry while getting to know your customers and forging better relationships with them.

1. Mix marketing knowledge with sales know-how


In the age of the connected customer and personalised marketing, sales and marketing teams will need to join forces to create a truly valuable customer experience. Ideally, this means sharing of skills and mindsets, while working seamlessly to generate a strong brand message that can be applied and tailored to individual customer needs.

As a result, salespeople will likely start thinking a lot more about the traditional marketing funnel: Awareness → Familiarity → Consideration → Purchase → Loyalty. However, it is important to recognise that this funnel is now a messy matrix, with seemingly limitless opportunities for consumers to jump in and out of the funnel and engage with content. Part of a salesperson’s job then, is to nurture customer relationships and guide them through the funnel time and time again.

2. Empower your sales team to own their analytics


It’s one thing to watch your sales grow, and another thing to understand why they’re growing. Analysing your sales data, along with consumer and industry trends, can help you gain insights into what you’re doing well and where you can improve – giving you the opportunity to boost your sales and outcomes for your clients.

Social media, like LinkedIn or Google Alerts, can also be used to get consumer and industry insights. However, making sense of your quantitative data can sometimes be easier said than done. When deciding which metrics to use, think about which ones are most likely to inspire action. Here are a few key metrics to help you get started:

  • Sales targets: to show you how your current sales are tracking against your targets and these may be represented as revenue, number of accounts, or units sold.

  • Sales to date: comparing recent sales against last quarter or the same period last year to give you a benchmark.

  • Sales by region: to determine where you’ve been most profitable and give you an opportunity to take a more targeted approach.

  • Opportunities: people and businesses you’ve contacted and are now in your pipeline.

  • Return on investment: to confirm that the time and resources you’re putting into each customer is worthwhile and help you concentrate your efforts on the most profitable opportunities.


3. Quality over quota


While crunching numbers and meeting quotas are important, salespeople are more likely to grow sales if they put more time into fewer people. Lowering the quota or getting more time to meet this quota reduces the pressure and gives you the opportunity to own the entire sales cycle. By taking the time to cultivate a relationship with the customer, you become a trusted advisor and generate customer loyalty. And, as people spend more time researching your products online before approaching you or your sales team, having these customer relationships will be more important than ever.

In the long run, this will help you meet quotas more effectively.

To learn more about the changing role of the salesperson, as well as the other key trends that are impacting the sales industry this year, download Salesforce’s State of Sales today.