8% of Google, 17% of LinkedIn, 30% of Box are Salespeople. Are they the unsung heroes of Silicon Valley?
Silicon Valley is iconized for the hackers and entrepreneurs that set out to transform our lives with amazing technology innovations.
The inventions at Xerox, Intel, HP, PeopleSoft, Workday, Oracle by hackers has not only brought Silicon Valley to its iconic rise but has also made technology a staple in our business world.
While technical visionaries have played a crucial role in developing technology, we're here to highlight the salespeople that helped take the idea of a technology across the chasm to mainstream use.
Salespeople's ability to represent products around the globe has led to the adoption of these new ideas, technology and businesses.
Salespeople are the ones that help funnel the growth of a company, product or idea. Without someone to sell innovations, the energies to create it would have been wasted.
Brief History of Silicon Valley
It all began in 1939, in a Palo Alto garage with Stanford Alumni David Packard and William Hewlett with the encouragement and advice of Frederick Terman. They had begun to establish a small electronics company that was later tagged as “the birthplace of Silicon Valley.”
Stanford, throughout the next years, continued to demonstrate advances in research and generated many of those companies that have made Silicon Valley what is has become today - the most advanced, creative and progressive place in the country.
By the 1990’s, the central story of Silicon Valley was undoubtedly the internet. Graduate students, Sergey Brin and Larry Page from Stanford, developed an algorithm that became none other than the webs most popular search engine - Google. With Google came all the legendary companies of Silicon Valley that had started to establish themselves through the 80s: Cisco Hewlett-Packard, Intuit and Sun Microsystems.
Selling in Silicon Valley circa 1985
In 1985, Silicon Valley was booming. Cisco, Sun Microsystems, Microsoft, Apple, and many more companies were starting up. HP and IBM were already established as the companies to beat. Most of the entrepreneurs in the valley came from Stanford, and other local California Educational Institutions.
Most sales were closed via phone calls and face-to-face meetings, and most appointments were set up by calling the customer from desk phones. Selling was all relationship-based. Most communication, contracts, Master Service Agreements and Purchase Orders took as long as 5-7 days through the US Mail system.
You were expected to complete cold calls, 100-200 daily. There was no email communication, no software applications to track your sales and your customers, and no websites or social media on the horizon. No Google, no YouTube. And definitely no ToutApp. It was not a 24x7 real time world like it is today.
High Growth Companies and Salespeople
Our Billboard Dedicated to Salespeople
In a new connected social world where we constantly speak of sharing and virality, its proven time and time again that salespeople are the ones that propel the true growth of new companies, ideas and products. So to celebrate them, we opened quite possibly the first billboard dedicated to the craft and people around selling.
The Evolving Role of Sales
Before, Salespeople served as the gatekeepers and providers of information related to products and services. Today, buyers are more empowered than ever before with all the information on a company, its products, its strengths and weaknesses all instantly transmitted to the hive mind through the power of Google, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn.
While one might think that the role of Salespeople is quickly diminishing, we've found that the role of a Salesperson is more important than ever before and evolving at a rapid pace. Today, the job of a Salesperson is to be consultative, to help educate, to help define requirements, to help evaluate, to connect, and through that process sell.
Sales today no longer about cold calling, working the numbers and pushy tactics. Its more about establishing a presence, teaching something meaningful, and guiding someone through a purchasing process. Its more about conversations rather than scripts. Its more about following up rather than closing at first sight. With this new and evolving role, Salespeople have moved on from their rolodexes to smart new tools like Salesforce, LinkedIn, and even ToutApp.
Here at ToutApp, we believe in building simple communications software that empowers the individual salesperson and informs the sales managers. We've reinvisioned how email and phone communications work in sales and built the leading communications platform designed specifically for sales people.