by Al Campa
When it comes to sales territory planning, location used to be everything. Why? Because relationships between sales professionals and customers used to require physical meetings and in-person interaction. Therefore, it made perfect sense to segment your sales team by geography. If you were a rep who lived or worked in close physical proximity to a customer, then that customer was your account.
Conference calls and web conferencing solutions like GoToMeeting and WebEx have changed all that. Today, many sales professionals have strong connections with customers they’ve never personally met before.
That’s why some companies are starting to consider the strength of social relationships (“social proximity”) when assigning accounts. This is something I’m excited to talk about to an audience of more than 200 sales leaders at the upcoming Sales & Marketing 2.0 Conference in San Francisco. Here’s a quick preview of three ways sales teams can benefit from a social selling proximity model.
- Increased productivity for outbound prospecting. We’ve found that for every 1,000 prospecting calls made, only 345 are returned if there is no personal connection but 849 are returned if there is a personal connection. That’s a 243% increase in productivity.
- Improve conversion rate for inbound leads. Inbound leads can be prioritized by the strength of the personal connection somebody in your organization has to a prospective account. This enables you to focus your sales resources on opportunities where you have an inside edge.
- Get deeper penetration into target accounts. Target accounts can be assigned based on who has the strongest personal connections to them. This will allow you to leverage established relationships with key influencers and decision makers in order to extend your presence within key accounts.
Despite the drastic changes in the way we connect and communicate, business is still about people. People who can’t connect effectively rarely do well in business. We buy things from people we have a positive relationship with; people we like and trust. And if those relationships stay positive, we keep buying from them, even if they switch companies and sell something different.
At Reachable, we believe that social proximity is a far more relevant way to segment your sales team than geographic proximity. That’s why our solution helps sales teams leverage collective contact information to establish stronger relationships with prospects and customers, at a highly accelerated rate.
I look forward to sharing more during my breakout session, “Using Social Proximity to Improve Sales Productivity,” on October 22 at the Sales & Marketing 2.0 Conference. Register here to join me.
Al Campa is CEO of Reachable.