In the 1950’s and 1960’s, the “Mad Men” of Madison Avenue were innovators in a new era. A new consumer class helped the post-World War II economy boom, emerging mass media like television brought brands into living rooms, and optimism was on the rise. All of these factors modernized the advertising industry and helped launch most of the global brands we know today.
More than half a century later, advertising is global, but not as glamorous. While new technologies have transformed selling, consumers have become smarter about when and how they are being pitched. Optimism has been replaced by skepticism. The same is true in the B2B world where the selling process has become formulaic and overly analytical.
Help Your Customers, Don’t Bore Them
Outdated tools like static, linear slide decks are one reason why sales flounder. Sales teams don’t like using them and customers find them boring. Meaningless jargon falls flat. Technology has made customers smarter — they can find product information on their smartphone in an instant. That means sales and marketing teams need to harness their resources and give customers something of value that they can’t discover on their own.
Moving Past Mad Men
“Mad Men” like Don Draper pitched clients using current tech like slide projectors, which is not much different from the slide decks that sales teams use today. Consumers won’t respond to a one-size-fits-all marketing strategy. They want to be moved in ways that engage them. That won’t happen if all you’re using are one-dimensional technology and obsolete talking points.
How to put excitement back into sales:
- Bring back fun: When training your employees, stay away from formulaic processes that haven’t been changed in decades. Salespeople want to get excited about their careers, and training resources can be useful tools that will upgrade the sales process.
- Refresh your resources: Update your sales technology and consider new ways to find, create, and present content. Relevant content that can be presented in a clear, visually engaging manner will improve your team’s ability to connect with prospects.
- Get personal: Customize your pitch. Data analytics can help tailor your sales approach, which will help show potential customers you understand the nuances of their business and are providing a solution.