By Gil Cargill, Sales Acceleration Coach, Cargill Consulting Group, Inc.
No, more accurately, I should say I sat in a time capsule. You see, I needed to borrow a desk and a PC and was near a friend’s company. He graciously allowed me to spend some time at the desk of one of his salespeople who was out of town. I became aware that I was sitting in a time capsule, when I looked around this individual’s work area.
She has stacks of business cards neatly lined up. Today, we refer to this as a database. Unfortunately, these stacks of business cards are not very searchable and are completely unmovable. She is one of those sales professionals who believes that CRM technology is for “other people.” She has a whiteboard in back of her desk, which contains her to-do list as well as her forecasts. Once again, the information cannot leave her work area and, consequently, she becomes relatively unarmed, from a success planning point of view, as soon as she leaves.
It was a time capsule in the sense that it brought back some fond memories; specifically, my very early days at IBM circa 1970. We maintained file boxes with 3x5 cards that had notes on them as a result of sales calls. We stapled business cards to these 3x5 cards, which made it easier for us to look up phone numbers and addresses. There was no email nor were there faxes back in those days (it's hard to believe that I'm that old).
We were able to waddle through sales success, but the primary reason we were able to be successful is due to the fact that the buying process was dramatically different in those days than it is today. Buyers were far more accessible and far less stressed. Consequently, when a buyer said he/she would talk to you in three or four months, more often than not, they would talk to you; today, not so much.
Also, buyers in those days could make decisions on a far less hurried basis. Because the workload of middle managers in virtually all American corporations has gone up dramatically since those days, they are pressed to make decisions rapidly. This tends to encourage them to make “safe” decisions and not risk any significant change.
Look around you. Are you working in a time capsule? Do you literally use all of the power that technology offers you today? If not, the success that you're enjoying is great; however, it is limited by the lack of the utilization of technology. Come on into the 21st century; the selling is fine.
This article was originally published at http://gilcargill.com/sat-time-machine-last-week/