The world of sales and marketing has been coming closer together over the past few years and the job roles of both sales and marketing professionals will continue to evolve. These changes have been driven by technology and also the increasing importance of social selling and personal branding. We can now instantly find more than we could ever in the past about an individual and also assess their reputation quickly. Almost every business now also operates within a global marketplace so as the opportunities get greater so does the competition.
Reputations are often built up over many years and through repetition of contact and dialogue with customers and prospects. We have now entered the era of the super salesperson and super marketing professional. The brand of the individual is often stronger than the companies that they have worked for. This brand value can be carried forward from organisation to organisation where in the past people’s identities and contributions were more opaque. Working in the world of executive search and recruitment in a privileged position to really understand what’s going on with the new digital world we live in.
The real value with social media and online branding comes when we are able to engage with people on a one-to-one basis. These tours do give the opportunity of one too many communications but still as individuals we thrive on dialogue and feedback from others. Salespeople used to pride themselves on the quantity and quality of their Rolodex. The value of these connections is less than it was as anybody is able to reach out to anybody. However the branding and reputation individuals have will determine the response from the outreach. The new Rolodex is actually your connections that you make every day online and with social media. An employee who has been with an organisation for a long time and has interacted and built up a reputation and respect remains a valuable asset for both their current company and their competitors should they look outside.
The digital world often provides an opportunity to measure track and calculate return on investment will. It is much more difficult to measure trust and respect within the marketplace. Net promoter scores and other ways of checking can be useful but is not an exact science. References are still heavily used in the recruitment world and often at a point in time where decisions have already been made. The new way of doing things is to check and evaluate people’s reputation through their recommendations and endorsements before commencing the recruitment process. Everybody now has a valuable opportunity to build up their own brand which includes being known, being liked and ultimately trusted.