If you are a sales manager (or any subordinate leader) at a traditional brick and mortar business, I feel that you have a duty to push your company through a transition to an internet based marketing and product or service delivery system. Much of the senior leadership might have a difficulty seeing the internet squeeze, but you are right in the middle of it and must step up as a leader in the company.
Sales managers in every industry are dealing with a sales force which must learn how to better work with the online consumer. As we have covered in a post about 3 Stages Of The Internet Buyer, companies and sales personnel must learn how to work with these consumers at each level.
The role of the sales manager is evolving, just as the role of the internet is changing the way our business must operate. Sales managers must see their sales force as a rapid response customer service force rather than a unit with a role of generating new sales leads. A well built company website, utilizing a brilliant content marketing plan will generate all the sales leads a company could ever handle, but without a properly functioning sales force, the company website is merely an additional cost with no great benefit to company revenues.
If you are a sales manager, the first thing you must do is arm yourself with information so that you can get senior management to consider the benefits of an internet marketing campaign. You need to be able to demonstrate that the internet is not merely another marketing medium, rather it is the actual business place for your future company.
Fortunately, there is plenty of information at your disposal. The Internet Squeeze has nearly 100 articles that can aid you in your efforts, and there are countless websites dedicated to internet marketing. I would recommend your focus be specifically targeted to internet marketing for business, as there are far too many sites that cater to other internet marketing opportunities.
Use the information that you gather to create a recommended course of action, and lead your company to a successful future on the internet. As with all competitive issues, the first to adopt the systems of the future will have a great advantage in the marketplace. The sales managers who understand this today will be the business leaders of the future.