By 2020, the number of internet-connected devices is expected to reach 50 billion. While businesses already use surveys, purchase histories, loyalty programs and other methods to be able to understand customers better, these techniques will pale in comparison to the relationships the Internet of Things (IoT) will build. As consumers incorporate more and more connected devices into their daily lives, information that's never before been available to companies will redefine what it means to know a customer's needs and wants. Additionally, this new insight will create opportunities to improve timing and customization of sales messaging, improving the results of outgoing sales and marketing efforts.
One of the primary goals many companies share in regards to social media is monetizing the channel. Currently, most corporate social media accounts function more as a customer service tool than a sales tool. The explanation for this is simple: Social media at its core is about relationships on an interpersonal level. A person can't have a relationship with a corporate social media account. At the corporate level, posts and tweets are too broad and out of touch with individuals’ needs and interests to function as effective sales drivers. While corporate social media accounts shouldn't be done away with, it is time for companies to change expectations and develop a new, more effective approach to the channel.
Over 13.6 million Americans are employed as sales professionals. However, gone are the days of the traveling door-to-door salesman who spent face time learning about customers' personal lives and developing relationships. As more companies embrace social media, building one-on-one relationships with existing and potential customers is experiencing a revival
Salesforce's acquisition of ExactTarget has been the hot topic of conversation lately in CRM, marketing and sales circles. Salesforce now has added the ability to support the enterprise with lead generation tools. Marketing teams can use the new tools brought forth by the acquisition of ExactTarget to create leads to funnel to the sales team. However, there's one issue many have failed to discuss until now: What will this acquisition mean for the actual sales professional who is responsible for converting leads into closed deals? The answer, unfortunately, is nothing.