Guest Post: Paul Dilger, Director Product Marketing at The TAS Group
Having a genuinely integrated approach to your selling effort means embracing sales 2.0 resources, and that means keeping your finger on a considerable amount of pulses on a daily – and sometimes hourly – basis. The advent of the smartphone or portable browsing device has made the management of all the communication channels easier, since while you’re heading from A to B or have other such dead time, you can clear out a lot of the small items.
Some people view the maturing of mobile technology as a bridge too far, an intrusion on their non-work time, and for them it signals the beginning of the end when work expands to fill all available time. I find smartphones make me more productive and free my life up, but it begs a very interesting, and timely (if you’ll pardon the pun) question.
This time of year is traditionally a holiday time for us in the northern hemisphere. It’s the silly season when the political wheels grind to a halt, the media are more hungry for content to fill their publications, and when business can be challenging since vacationing decision-makers and budget holders are incommunicado. But what happens to our sales 2.0 activities when we’re away? I was fortunate enough to take 2 weeks in a row recently, (what the Brits call a fortnight), the first time for about 3 years, and here is a non-exclusive list of the things that kept on moving while I was away:
- I still got emails
- I still got calls and SMS messages from people who hadn’t sent me a email and so didn’t get my ‘OOF’
- I still got my daily diet of web alerts for companies and industries I follow
- I still got my instant email alerts of post contributions to the blogs and discussion groups I subscribe to
- I still got a ton of tweets
So, as a vacationing professional, there are 2 decisions we need to make in our work-life balance:
- Am I going read and / or act on any of the inbound communications I get, so the mountain is lower to climb when I come back, or do I save them for when I get back, or do I decide never to read them and start with the new stuff when I return? And even more important in a sales 2.0 capacity,
- Am I going to actively participate, ie email, post and blog (and they’re all verbs by the way), during my vacation?
“Ah,” I hear you say, “you can just schedule all your tweets and posts to go during your vacation, so there’s no gaps in your influencing activity.” That may be true to a large degree, but the point I’m getting to is that it becomes a mindset thing. All the research says that you need to properly check out and rest on vacation, so that you’re refreshed and raring to go when you get back. But technology and sales 2.0 resources allow you to keep tabs while you’re away, and sneak an action or two in between chapters of the pulpy novel you’re reading at the pool or on the beach.
My own view is that sales 2.0 technologies and ways of working have intruded into vacations these last couple years, but in a good way, in that they make the immediate pre- and post- vacation upheaval more bearable, and, assuming we all enjoy our work, they allow us to stay close to those of our customers who are working.
What’s your view? Or are you on vacation, with a ‘DNS’ sign on the front of your smartphone?