The internet is wide-open in most industries, and the early adapters are going to be un-challenged in the early stages as traditional methodologies continue to force companies into a squeeze. Perhaps you are already beginning to see the internet squeeze effect?
The cost of living continually rises every year, so it is natural that sales people are going to need to earn more money every year. Simultaneously, the internet is “shrinking” the world, meaning that local companies are finding more competition than ever before. Margins are being “squeezed” and companies are now putting higher productivity standards on the sales force in an attempt to stabilize or grow profits. But here’s the rub.
Consumers don’t want to talk to salespeople. They expect to start the buying process on the internet. Ask anybody in your sales force how effective their “cold calls” are today versus just five or ten years ago. The fact is, consumers are finding the internet to be full of answers for most industries, and they will be checking on yours as well. Maybe your industry has not yet converted (this is where that voice in the back of your head is saying … “my industry is different, the consumer needs more personal involvement.”)
So the salesperson has to work harder to achieve lesser results in the past, but needs to make more money because of the cost of living. This is the internet marketing squeeze effect.
You are going to have to evolve your marketing and selling apparatus or the Internet Squeeze Effect will put your company out of business. Your salespeople need to be more productive to enable higher profits for the company, and higher earnings for the salespeople.
A good friend of mine, Ron Rice, is the Vice President of Sales and Marketing for the KellerMeyer Company in Bowling Green, Ohio. He has recently joined the company and was hired to improve sales performance at the company. He knows he needs to move them to a progressive internet marketing solution.
When discussing the need to move his company’s traditional marketing systems to the internet, he explains the Internet Squeeze with a great metaphor. The company is a huge cargo plane, loaded with the products, supplies, and equipment that his company sells. It is heavy and it is hurdling down the runway needing to lift off.
The modern marketing system is the only thing that will provide enough lift to help this plane clear the end of the runway, but he is concerned that the captain and crews’ inexperience might leave them too comfortable with their current situation. After all, this plane has taken off and landed thousands of times before, why should now be any different?
Ron is reminding them that the end of the runway grows closer every day, and they are fast approaching the water. Like me, he expects most companies will fail to adjust, and there will soon be preventable accidents and multiple planes in the water. But Ron has the vision, thus I suspect Kellermeyer will be flying high.
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