Have you noticed how it is getting easier and easier to find people online? Nowadays you can find Java developers on GitHub, accountants on LinkedIn, journalists on Twitter and your neighbour’s cat on Facebook. Everyone is leaving an online footprint somewhere, whether it’s actively pushing content out on Google Plus or just being listed for tea duties at your local church. Marketers, business developers and recruiters are getting increasingly skilled at finding not just your profile and information but also your activity trail that you leave behind when just answering a question or writing up a review.
What does all this mean? Well probably that the challenge for salespeople moving forwards will not be to find and identify prospects, rather to make the approach and win their interest and trust. Branding in all of its forms will come in handy; if a potential customer has seen your LinkedIn status updates (which weren’t just plugging your company I hope) they are more likely to take time and chat to you about opportunities. If you produce blog posts, video or podcasts you have actively contributed and will be seen as a source of information rather than just looking to do the next deal.