With the web2.0 revolution many sales professionals have taken to blogs and forums to find relevant information on the practice of selling. Just like how MP3s will replace traditional compact discs, I believe that sales blogs and forums will replace traditional sales training courses and books. We are dealing with a new generation of sales professionals. These social media sales representatives feel more culturally comfortable with a well known sales blogger than that of a sales coach who has not made a sales call in the last decade. The days of paying hundreds of thousands of dollars for a sales trainer are over (or near over). User generated sales blogs and sales articles will allow peer to peer idea sharing using a real time, no cost model.
Sales blogs and forums post information immediately and in real time. This allows for the information posted to be more relevant to the times than that of sales training programs developed years prior. Sales blogs also allow for the students to become the teachers. Most blogs or forums allow for a healthy discussion following each post. This exchange of ideas allows for a sales representative to not only learn from the perspective of a sales professional, but allow learning from the exchange of discussion offered by their peers.
The newest generation of sales professionals will grow up with the social media realm. They will have been used to finding their information on places like Wikipedia rather than their home town library. Sales tips and advice will be no different. The up and coming generation of sales representatives will prefer social media over traditional sales training courses. To stay in the game sales trainers and consultants will have to adapt their business models to mimic that of traditional sales training blogs. By using social media to attract the next generation of sales training, sales trainers will be able to keep in front of sales professionals for generations to come.
I do want to point out that most sales trainers have already adopted, or started to adopt the web 2.0 model. Almost every sales trainer now users sales training blogs to promote their services. These sales blogs are free to the public and are used to instill trust and offer a glimpse of the knowledge and expertise offered by the sales trainer. Most sales trainers will still be able to compete for years to come but the newest generation of sales representatives represent a completely different individual. My generation of sales representatives would rather learn from their peers than that of a sales trainer. It will be interesting to see how sales blogs compete with formal sales training in the future.
called QuickSalesTips. Oliver’s sales blog can be found at http://www.quicksalestips.com.
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