Sales has evolved dramatically in the past decade.
Deals which required a lot of travel and months of time can be closed in a matter of days now. Thanks to some cutting edge sales prospecting technologies and tools.
I am not going to brag about the benefits of sales prospecting technology in this blog, but take you on a journey of technological evolution, era by era.
Eras of Sales Prospecting Technology in Chronological Order
This was the very beginning of sales. A time when nobody wanted to become a salesperson, to avoid doors being slammed into face. How many times have you done it?
Sales Reps had to walk onto each door to sell. They just had a hand written list of prospects and usually involved exchange of cash if a sale was made. Subscription based sales were limited to how much a sales rep remembers about the prospect. A qualified prospect was someone whom the sales guy already knew before knocking the door.
Interestingly this type of selling is still prevalent mostly when selling to SMBs.
Phone Directories (Yellow Pages)
Telephones became common in offices and homes.
Sales reps started to make calls and travelling drastically reduced. They had to travel only when a meeting was fixed. Smiling and dialing was the new way of selling.
Along with calling came in the time of phone number lists. Salespeople started to rely a lot on yellow pages for making calls and prospecting. As the demand for lists grew list brokers and vendors came into existence providing phone number lists, on demand.
Internet – The Age of Database
As Internet came along, most of the list vendors and brokers moved their paper based lists online. Lists were now easily accessible hence raising the bar of competition. It was more about the rep skills than resources.
Sales organizations now didn’t have to buy lists but just subscribe. As internet evolved further, email came into existence and CRM was invented. The database grew as new fields like email came up.
The sales process moved online and became trackable.
Social Media was born and hence the era of crowdsourcing. The list vendors which had moved online now allowed users to update and append lists online. As a result the lists technically became better and more targeted. This
The people kept on adding data which brought us to the edge of big data.
Big Data – Dilemma of Data Management
The information is in abundance on the internet. A need of big data management was felt when it was getting diffcult to get the data we need. Technologies came up which help you filter data you need and derive conclusions of it.
The smart sales guys started utilizing these conclusions for prospecting anad ultimately drove towards higher revenue.
It is all about cutting edge technology today. Sales reps need more information than ever and technology has been serving them with that.The buyer behaviour has evolved and so has sales.
Selling is on a technology ride and numerous sales prospecting tools are coming up everyday which can help you track emails, make calls from the browser itself, personalise emails at scale, prospect study etc.
I can keep writing about the features but my motive here was to share the exciting ride of technology, sales is on.
Did I miss any era? Let me know if I did through the comments.