The CPSA is lucky to have many of the top Sales and Leadership experts as guest bloggers and supporters. One such well-known thought leader is Justin Flitter.
Justin is Flitter has 15 years’ experience growing businesses by developing and delivering digital marketing strategy, communications and community for business leaders.
Let’s hear from Justin Flitter.
Q: Tell us about yourself; your career path and expertise.
A: Since graduating 16 years ago with a business degree majoring in Marketing and Communications my career has unwittingly presented itself in a series of communities.
From starting the first business incubator in New Zealand in 2000 to being the 8th hire at Zendesk in December 2008, producing social media campaigns for Honda New Zealand and driving the marketing for an SME focused professional services and SaaS business; each chapter revolves around growing communities to attract and retain customers. Communities are only ever successful when you have everything working well. You need a happy business, healthy inside and out to fuel the conversations and get the required interactions. Recently I joined Results.com as Head of Marketing and look forward to building my next community for business leaders focused on driving results based culture in their organizations.
Q: You’re popular within the sales community, and you write some great content. How long has your blog been going now?
A: JustinFlitter.com has been running since 2008 and has more than 450 articles, insights and ideas on topics from social media for sales teams to app reviews and CMO level strategic commentary.
Q: How important are sales incentives to developing a culture of performance?
A: I think incentives are important across the business, everyone is in sales and having a lead from a developer is no less valuable than one from the CEO.
The biggest incentive is coming in first place. Sales teams that I have been in or supporting from the marketing side that are open and transparent are often the most successful. If you’re coming second or third and your nearest rival has a bigger pipeline, you’ll work your butt off to get ahead.
Q: How does technology factor into a Sales Rep's future success?
A: I think everyone should utilize the technology available to them to get ahead. The tools, apps, devices available can be used to your advantage to learn about your customers, present better, connect with prospects and learn more about your market than anyone else.
Q: In your opinion, what’s the biggest mistake salespeople make with their customers?
A: IMHO many sales people talk down to customers rather than with them. The best salespeople learn to have great conversations and lead them in the right direction. Not sounding ‘Salesy’ is a skill. I believe people want to do business with people they like, and trust so taking the time to learn about a prospects business, the key drivers for them, hurdles and opportunities are key to how you’ll influence their path to purchase for your product or service.
Q: What’s the best advice you can give to a company where their marketing and sales departments are divided?
A: Start having daily stand-ups with the sales and marketing teams together. Everyone has 60 seconds to share what they are doing today, what they need help with and acknowledge someone else's effort from the previous day. This type of action creates the transparency that people need to offer support and foster a culture where people work together to win the deal.
Q: Consumers are constantly being sold to, and there’s lots of clutter. Is there anything a salesperson could do to make them stand out?
A: Build your social profile, creating a community actively by sharing your resources, ideas. It’s about being useful, trusted and referred to as the go-to resource for your product or service.
Q: What’s your greatest piece of advice you can give to salespeople?
A: Use all the resources at your disposal to create community and learn about your prospects. The more you know about people, the better equipped you will be to understand their business, what makes them tick and why they will ultimately buy your product or service.
People who care are people who win.
About the author:
Justin is Flitter has 15 years’ experience growing businesses by developing and delivering digital marketing strategy, communications and community for business leaders. Justin was recognized in 2011 as one of the 25 most influential people on Customer Service (Mindtouch) and in 2013 as #20 in the top 100 Most Social Customer Service Pros on Twitter (Huffington Post).