The Modern-Day Sales Rep

The characteristics and skills required to be a sales rep in today’s world have drastically changed from when I was a young and eager associate. The Modern-Day Sales Rep has become a hybrid of old tactics, new strategies, and technical expertise--only vaguely resembling the salesperson I used to be.

The Modern-Day Sales Rep

Photo by LinkedIn Sales Solutions / Unsplash

Current Day Marketing

I remember when I started in sales. I was handed a list and told to start dialing. 100 calls a day, 5 days a week. “Dialing for Dollars,” they called it, and that is just what we did. All it took was the ability to talk on the phone and the determination to keep dialing; quantity over quality. Back then, sales reps just had to have one good skill. Either you were really skilled at talking with prospects on a phone call or you weren't. Now, let's fast forward 15 years. Sales reps have to be good at more.

I'd like to share with everyone reading this what current-day marketing looks like. Obviously, a lot has changed in the last 15 years with social media sites like LinkedIn and the further melding of technology into sales marketing and the industry.

A great example is marketing automation streamlining the outreach process.

But some things have stayed the same. You still need a marketing strategy to attract customers, a website with a blog is still useful, talking on the phone is still done.

In my opinion, the best practices and tools are the ones that stand the test of time or adapt to new technology. In the end, it's about bringing in a new audience and more potential customers.

Without further ado, let's get into modern-day marketing and how to succeed in bringing in customers.

Marketing Strategy

Persona Development, Customer Journey Management. Yes, you need a real marketing strategy. I can’t emphasize this enough, too many clients try and skip this step. Skipping this step is a mistake. 

Having a marketing strategy is the basics of the basics.

A marketing strategy is what brings in the customers. And without a good one, marketers will be fighting an uphill battle for years and wasting time and money on campaigns that ultimately don’t work.

All technology makes it really easy to talk to your audience, reach across the industry, and contact an audience you've never met in person.

Business Data Management

Understanding your analytics has become essential in the time and resource management of your sales efforts. The main purpose of data management is to know who to target. You also need to consider what market channels and strategies to use to be successful.

Use data to map out a strategy and what the best practices are. Analyze your metrics which data collected by analytics platforms or software

Point out your KPIs or key performance indicators. A KPI is used to determine if you're meeting your goals.

A KPI can range from marketing campaign engagement, lead quality, or closing rates.

This will help you know how to improve your strategy and what the best solution is. And make sure that you're tracking everything so that it's easier for your company to make relevant and conscious decisions.

Personalized Email Sequencing

Effectively managing communication through email requires organized outreach and constant testing. It involves having the right process integrated into good marketing automation software. 

Automation is vital for sales success and it has become a core marketing strategy in the digital age.

Analytics helps in making successful automation decisions which can be proven with KPIs or other ways to measure progress.

Email sequencing should always be tested so you know what will work best, which means having an email process integrated into your good marketing automation software package.

At the same time, following up on leads at every stage of the buying cycle until they have converted their customer from prospect to client.

Marketing Automation

Marketing automation is a technology that helps the modern-day sales rep to manage processes and campaigns across different channels. With this automation, a business can send customers automated emails and close leads.

Meanwhile, the sales team can focus on other things.

There are many different types of marketing automation platforms available today, depending on your specific needs: email marketing, lead management, landing page creation, social media integration, you name it. This software can come packed with features.

Create custom workflows to plan and execute your campaigns. This allows for higher levels of customer engagement, making it easier than ever before to close leads.

The key component of marketing automation has become analytics; giving companies an understanding of how customers are interacting with their messages and products. Analytics also provides insight on where future efforts should be allocated in order to make the most out of current strategy implementations.

Marketing automation can provide an immediate ROI for a company, but it’s important to remember it won't work without the right strategy.

Find the right solution for your company and achieve success.

The best practices can take the load off you and your sales team.

Successful Digital Marketing

The industry has changed with the internet. The modern-day sales rep understands that marketing is now a 24-hour, 365-day per year job.

Social media, SEO, and strategic paid marketing are necessary tools for spreading a message or idea, article, or other content.

Social media platforms can be used for prospect data mining like if Person A got a new job, what events Person B is attending, what industry they work in, or companies they like on LinkedIn.

In fact, a platform like LinkedIn is a great way to find a new lead or buyers to engage with.

Digital marketing requires a strategic plan with well-defined goals. The sales rep needs to know who the target audience is, what they want or need to see, and how best to reach them.

Not everyone uses the internet in the same way, so it’s important to consider all aspects of digital marketing when creating a strategy.

Build Your Network

Building a network is key. Attending events, responding on LinkedIn, keeping in touch with old clients and friends. It all helps. 

It's not what you know, but who you know. That may be a tough pill to swallow, but it's true.

Meet people through other people, or make connections through a common interest. But, no matter what you do, networking is key to the success of your business.

Talk to people on LinkedIn and Facebook. Build your brand value by fostering a community around your business. Perhaps other marketers will meet people like them and direct those prospects to your channel; your platform.

Take it a step further with public speaking. This could be a point of contention for some as not everyone is comfortable with public speaking. But as a solution to achieving high engagement, it's proven to be successful.

Hosting and attending the right events is a great way to meet new prospects and show them your expertise. All the while, you're likely to meet more people who can refer prospects.

LinkedIn is fine, but face-to-face outreach is the key to success.

Being an effective salesman means being open-minded about how you can reach out to more people which might mean that some methods work better than others depending on where you live and who your target audience is. 

Speaking at events is useful for sales representatives looking to grow their business, meet new leads, increase conversion.

Oftentimes speakers will receive free tickets as well as other incentives to build engagement. Do some outreach and engage with prospects. Give them a call. The point is to be social because will identify you as a successful person.Hav

Content Development

It is important to create marketing campaigns that are personalized and tailored for your prospects, with the goal of generating more sales leads from qualified conversations.

Create a platform that a customer can identify with.

Platform development not only includes developing your marketing strategy but also building out an information funnel that will guide buyers through their buying journey all the way until they purchase from you or go elsewhere.

Content writing is a great method. For example, you can have email outreach, blog articles, and proposals. Content makes The Modern Sales Rep relevant and helps start the conversation.

A blog provides your reader with valuable content that is fresh, insightful, and relevant to their life. Have content that people can actively engage with and is relevant to their wants and needs. Content as a tool can increase brand value.

The ability to generate intelligent insights based on this data gives them a competitive advantage over others as it allows them to be proactive instead of reactive when it comes to marketing. In return, you're getting prospects to engage with your business and that engagement can pay for itself.

It's why I stress the importance of having platforms and channels to build a community. It's not just about marketing to them, it's about building a relationship with the people you want to buy from you.

Effective Management Skills

Once The Modern-Day Sales Rep figures out he/she can not do all of the above alone, it's important to have the management skills and planning wherewithal to integrate the right talent to support these efforts.

Creative ideas - you will need the ability to think outside of the box in order to find new ways for marketing, sales, or customer service. For example, companies often want to know how to increase engagement and the solution could be giving free stuff.

Insight - you have to be able to understand the different needs of customers and buyers. For example, if a customer is in your store but not buying anything, they could want help with finding what they're looking for or need more information on how the product works

Time management skills - as a modern-day sales representative your time is valuable to learn how to manage it well.

Oh yeah, and I can still make a phone call. 


Now while I would never forget my past and all that made me what I am today, I still keep one eye on the future. 

Today's sales rep must be creative enough to write content, analytical enough to manage data, outspoken enough to network, and harnessing technology.  

Additionally, an understanding of basic programming principles, social media platforms, and integrating marketing automation tools won’t hurt you either

The Modern-Day Sales Rep is a culmination of all the things that the company is too busy to do themselves in order to attract customers. Luckily for some of us “Modern Day Sales Reps,” we have evolved into intuitive, diversified, intellectuals with all the skills required to succeed in today’s economy.

But don't take my word for it. See for yourself.

And if you're not sure how to get started, that's ok! I'm here to help. Just reach out and let me know what you need. I'll be more than happy to get you started on your journey to becoming a Modern-Day Sales Rep!