Back when I was beginning my sales career, a senior representative gave me one piece of advice:
“If you want to be successful in sales, get up one hour earlier and stay up one hour later. Use that time to make one extra call each day. It may not seem like a lot, but at the end of the year you’ve made 250 additional calls. Those additional calls will make you successful.”
This approach to sales worked well because of how business was done back in those days. Success was based on how much time you spent on building relationships and selling. Sales and marketing agencies presented merchandising resellers everything they had about manufacturers’ products, and every account received the same materials, more or less.
But the current landscape is far more challenging for sales and marketing professionals. Resellers have unique platforms, user interfaces, and affiliations, and the ability to differentiate between each resellers’ capabilities and relationships is what sets sellers apart. The number of communications channels we use daily has grown exponentially, with customers receiving hundreds and thousands of communications each week. Managing and responding to these communications can be time consuming and overwhelming.
Although building relationships is still a critically important component of sales, there are many more tasks that need to be performed or overseen. Digital marketing has become essential to the process, because consumers want to understand not only what they are buying and how it works, but also how it can benefit their specific needs.
At Midwest Resource Group, we ensure that the communications and digital marketing needs are being met, while still ensuring that we can give attention to the core sales and relationship building needed for successful transactions. We work as a team with administrative and creative experts, which gives the managing partners and territory managers more time to devote to building relationships and selling. Times have changed, but the advice that my first sales mentor gave me still holds some truth. However, to make those extra calls, we need to be able to rely on our administrative and creative marketing teams to make sure that the customers’ other needs are being met.