The Exponential Salesperson

Traditional selling techniques produce linear results. Do you want more sales? You need to do more work.

This is because sales is traditionally a very manual, labor-intensive process. It requires that a salesperson actively be involved in every step of the buying process, from the initial prospecting, qualifying, proposals, and final negotiations.

In this linear model, sales boils down to a “numbers game” of results. If you average reaching 1 prospect for every 10 cold calls, you can do simple math to determine how many calls you need to make to achieve your desired results.

linear cold call graph

Sales teams manage to this linear model. They create linear salespeople who produce linear sales results.

Does a linear model work? Sure. It can work for organizations with resources to throw at traditional sales approaches. Hours spent cold calling, staffing trade shows, and chasing down prospects at networking events.

But there is a better, digital alternative.

Digital Sales Enabling Exponential Growth

The alternative to the linear sales approach is an exponential one. Instead of a linear 1:1 effort-to-result ratio, you can create a strategy where your sales and marketing teams leverage digital channels to grow results.

The are two primary ways that digital strategies enable exponential growth:

#1 – Ability to Scale

The first significant benefit of digital channels over analog is the ability to scale. Digital content has close to zero marginal cost for additional reach. It doesn’t cost any additional resources for your webinar recording to be watched by 100 people versus if 5 people watched it.

This means that once you produce a digital sales and marketing asset, it can be used repeatedly for no additional cost. When you compare that to traditional sales activities and marketing collateral, you have a greater ability to scale.

#2 – Network Effects

The second major benefit is through network effects. This is the phenomenon where as each incremental person is added to your network, the value of the overall network grows. Or, put another way, digital channels allow you to reach your connection’s connections more easily.

Just like in the physical world, as your network grows, it becomes more valuable. The main difference is that digital networks are always “on,” and your visibility to others is enabled automatically through social and search algorithms.  

What does this all mean for you? Exponential growth.

Digital sales and marketing activities enable you to build “digital equity” from your efforts and leverage these to increase your growth. For instance, let’s use the example of publishing online articles and/or content.

exponential growth graph
exponential sales results

Your reach will likely be small when you first publish online content. This is because you don’t have the network effects of a strong SEO background, and you don’t have enough relevant content to build a large audience.

However, as you keep up your efforts, the results will begin to grow exponentially. The content will scale to reach more people. Your network’s network will start to get visibility to your content. Slowly, then suddenly, you’ll reach more prospects than ever before.

Exponential Sales Activities

So what does an exponential salesperson do? Generally speaking, they implement a digital selling strategy.

I use a framework to “Educate, Capture, and Consult” prospects through a digital funnel. Educating a broad audience to gain visibility and authority. Capturing leads through value-add calls to action. Consulting prospects one-on-one by understanding their business problems and impacts.

For the exponential growth in your sales and marketing pipeline, the most significant return often comes from the “Educate” strategy stage. This is where you can scale and grow your network far faster than in the traditional sales model.

Here are a few of those activities that can lead to exponential growth:

  • Publish Articles/Content – Creating and publishing online content via a blog and/or website is a great way to build organic reach to your target audience. The content elevates you as a thought leader and provides valuable SEO.
  • Implement Social Selling – Building your online social network and regularly posting valuable content is a great way to socially sell. You’ll expand your visibility through your network’s network.
  • Host Webinars – A great way to capture leads and offer value to your online audience is to host regular webinars. Focus the content of the webinars on being educational, and you’ll help guide your prospects on their buyer’s journey.
  • Utilize Email Marketing – Building an email list is a great way to engage directly with your prospective audience. A monthly newsletter provides an opportunity to educate your audience with valuable content and stay top of mind.

Ultimately, it’s finding the best digital strategy for your business and audience. Seek the best channels to fully leverage digital platforms’ scalability and network effects.

And, of course, the exponential salesperson needs patience. Just like investing your money, exponential growth takes time to get going. You need to continually invest in your digital channels to build the “digital equity” in your business.

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