In tech generally, in sales generally, and in tech sales in particular, we’re currently experiencing a very exciting and rapidly accelerating shift towards online-first interactions. You could say sales is changing — for good!
For many years now, scale-up companies and scrappy startups like Uvaro and Kiite have run their full business-to-business sales cycles while rarely (if ever) meeting prospects face-to-face.
But thanks to COVID, over the last few months, big enterprise vendors and buyers have been forced to accept exclusively-online interactions, even for six- and seven-figure deals.
Expect this change to be more or less permanent.
It’s going to be a while before we see 20-person board-room sales presentations again.
This very rapid shift is enabling a digital cross-fertilization of ideas like we haven’t seen since the dot-com boom. And it’s not just happening in the Slack channels of tech companies, but through all industries and across generations. It’s happening in business-oriented platforms like Linkedin, but also in personal and social interactions, like through family Zoom calls, or via restaurant technology that helps to enable physical distancing.
This incredibly rich environment for networking means that more traditional industries, like retail and construction, are being exposed to a cornucopia of expansion opportunities that they probably never previously gave any serious thought.
They’re hiring remote and digital-first sales teams. They’re rolling out eCommerce stores at an unimaginable pace. While all of this is so new and exciting — now, is the time to take advantage of these new networking opportunities. Within a few short months, patience for brand marketing will run thin once again, the rate of new connections will start to dry up, and the first-movers will become the new influencers.
You can build an unfair career advantage for yourself by strategically amplifying voices and centering yourself in a new network of business and B2B sales leaders:
A simple way to get started is to deploy the “Linkedin post a day” challenge. Don’t do it simply as a platform to make noise, but as a genuine attempt at meaningful engagement, like Meenal:
Whether you’re a recent grad, mid-career, or a senior executive, having access to a network not just of your own peers, but of people in different roles and industries than you are, is key to staying in the loop and ahead of the curve. You can use this group to test ideas, get feedback, and help to amplify your own signal.
You can do this on an ad-hoc basis, but you can also be strategic about it. Create a list of tasks. Build a playbook of strategies, and use it as a reference point, or as a task list. Don’t get stuck wondering what you have to do today—consult your list and go from there.
Use this as an opportunity to practice forming your own opinion, having it be challenged, and taking the feedback to heart.
But listen to the answers. Be critical, but be empathetic too.
These aren’t just career skills—they’re specific B2B sales skills. The ability to reach a prospect in an environment they’re familiar with is of immeasurable value. So is being able to speak their language. And so is being able to genuinely hear their needs, hear their concerns, and offer relevant, informed, context-aware solutions.
If you can do that, nothing can stop you. Happy selling.