Welcome to “Strong Schwartz”. Since this is my first post let’s begin with an overview of what I’ve seen.
In 2003 I embarked on my sales career. At the time there were very few online/electronic tools to assist us with connecting and reaching the right audience. LinkedIn was brand new. Twitter and Facebook didn’t exist and Myspace was newborn as of August 2003. Social media was non existent. Email was a tool that corporations had begun using in th the ‘90s but was more of an internal communications tool. Spam ran rampant. As salespeople, we were relegated to the smile and dial technique (it’s still viable but far less effective than the tools I will discuss in future posts).
Having a tech background I had some advantages going in. I had been using electronic means of record keeping and management for quite a few years. I understood how the internet worked and where to look for data. I thought I was ready to dive in. As newbie I started with observation of what was working for my successful colleagues. To my surprise the majority still used pen and paper. Binders of contact sheets and no real way to stay on top of their prospecting and relationship management efforts. Even tools such as “ACT” were underutilized. Creating and manipulating spreadsheets? You’re kidding right? Some companies had invested in the development of homegrown CRM tools that paled in comparison to what we have today. Issues with territory and lead protection were the norm. Information sharing was nonexistent and the way employers tracked productivity was through call volume, talk time, and sales results (still great metrics).
In my next post I will discuss some history of the ever changing landscape of Small Business and Corporate America.