In the Age of Google, the Age of the internet and the rapidly changing face of technology, one of the biggest challenges that companies face today includes making the jump from old ways to new ways.
In Part III of our conversation with Tony Cole of Anthony Cole Training, LLC, we want to share our conversation about “gazelles and stagnates”, or organizations that are growing disproportionately fast. We uncovered two patterns; it is how domino companies approach these two patterns which set them up for the success they enjoy.
1. Moving from Old Ways to New Ways
What’s so baffling today is the fact that many organizations are simply unable or unwilling to see that the system of record they are using to manage sales and marketing is one that was designed when people use to return telephone calls and emails. What is it that domino companies, these “gazelles”, are doing that enables them to skyrocket passed established organizations, middle grade companies and other start-ups?
They Harness the New Way of Selling and Marketing: Domino companies have put aside old ways and have transitioned to the new ways of selling and marketing, whether it’s digitally or using alternative channels to get traction. Part of adopting the new ways of selling and marketing is realizing that the buyer has made a fundamental shift. Cole pointed out that this has been a critical shift in successful selling and marketing. The fact is that domino companies understand the new buyer.
Cole explained the shift he sees to the new buyer and the opportunities that many companies are missing because they are not making the leap from old to new ways:
“Most of our clients are still using traditional methodology to penetrate the market place and they’re counting on referrals from centers of influence. If they’re in the bank space, they’re counting on introductions from bank partners, and if they’re in the insurance space, they’re looking to their current clients. If they’re a newbie, especially in the insurance industry, whatever list they can come up with—that’s what they’re looking to. It’s not as effective anymore, and I don’t know that it’s not effective or cost effective because people aren’t good at it. I think it’s because the buyer has changed; the buyer doesn’t buy that way anymore. There was a time in this world of ours in buying and selling where the seller initiated the buying process—well, that’s not the case anymore.”
Cole emphasizes that domino companies make it a point to be found. Whether it’s through harnessing the right technology to measure and tailor their product or service to their exact target or it’s changing how they sell in order to match the buying process which the new buyer is interested in, domino companies make it easy to take the next step at every level of engagement.
Today, less is more. Not every prospect is a buyer. Prospects don’t want to be lured in or hoodwinked. Some are window shopping. They don’t want to feel pressured to buy. Others are out for a stroll and see something that strikes them. They may go from no interest to fully engaged within a matter of seconds. Domino companies know how important it is to qualify marketing leads, to nurture them if needed, and when to pull the trigger and send the leads from marketing to sales. They understand their buyer, something which organizations that are following the traditional methodologies find themselves continually struggling to do.
Most People Don’t Lose Sales Because of Technological Incompetence
Cole also shared that the second problem organizations face when it comes to growing from small to big is a focus on the wrong things. While technology is ushering in breakthroughs and helping a good number of these gazelles achieve exponential growth over short time periods, technology alone is never the answer.
“Most people don’t lose sales because of technological incompetence. It’s not because salespeople don’t know the subject matter, but they don’t have access to it. So, where I’m going with this is [highlighting the value] in teaching people, coaching people, helping them understand what is it they need to be looking for when they buy a product or service.
You have to have access to the right information to share with the prospect. Then you have to be good enough as salespeople to take over the sales process, but to also manage the buyers to that buying process.
Once we do this, once we come with this information, we ask, “What is our next step? How do we keep the rapport? How do we help the prospect or buyer make a decision?” One of the key skill sets required to do this is the ability of the salesperson to get the decision maker to make a decision, and technology can’t do that— only a person alone can help somebody make a decision.”
Domino companies realize that technology can help them achieve success, but that technology must be directed by human intelligence and no amount of automation will ever replace sales people.
2. Working and Communicating Effectively as Teams
What’s more, domino companies realize the value of teams and the transformation that effective job allocation and communication delivers. Whether these break down into lead qualification teams, sales teams, and marketing teams—the teams work together, not against each other in competition. Cole’s organization has different names for these salespeople within teams—hunters, qualifiers, account managers, former ambassadors—but the idea is the same. The idea is to strategically arrange people’s roles around their expertise and not to demand results from people with the wrong skill sets. He talks more about this transformation is realized:
“I think this is a new transformation for companies that are recognizing that “Wow, I just hired a super start sales person, but this super star sales person has the same problems at prospecting that my average people do.” The transformation is they are trying to find ways to take that part of the job off the table. They are trying to do lead gen for all their sales people and allow the sales people to go do what they are really good at; getting face to face meetings, or having that conversation and moving a prospect to somebody who says, “Holy crap, I got to have your stuff.”
Domino companies are fun to watch, challenging to imitate and powerful to partner with. They understand that technology won’t fix their problems, not on its own. They understand the value of collaboration and synergistic efforts between marketing and sales. If there is one thing that domino companies get, it is that they understand the value in helping the consumer get from where they are to where they want to be, but this is rooted in the fact that they have clarity personally on an organization-wide level of where they as an organization want to be.
It was fantastic to talk to Tony Cole and to learn and grow from insights he’s come to working with the full range of organizations in financial verticals. It might not always be possible to sell to everyone because not everyone is buying. Helping your target get from where they are to where they want to be is critical and Tony’s brand mission is absolutely inspirational—a mission that we expect many other domino companies also value, which is why I’ll close the article with it:
“You will not find anyone else to partner with who cares about your success as we do. If you are lying awake at night worrying about something, I assure you, we are too. Your problems become our problems.”
Read Part 1 & 2 of this compelling and insightful series:
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