According to Plunkett Research, American consumers spent more than $3.9 billion dollars in total online sales in 2010, which was up from $3.6 billion in 2009. These statistics show not only that Internet-related sales are growing, but that the Internet has drastically replaced the way business takes place. Sales and management alike are significantly easier because of the Internet.
Having access to the Internet makes life more convenient regardless of your industry. In the case of real estate, for example, Internet access adds convenience to the lives of both the real estate agent and the customer. The agent can browse available properties that he can consider showing to his client, while the clients can review listings and look at house photos and specifications to determine if an in-person viewing is worth their time. Prior to the Internet, this process would have been more complicated and time consuming.
A significant part of the job of any person who works in sales is keeping in constant communication with her customers. Before the Internet, a salesperson would need to call her customers to ensure they’re satisfied, while the customers would need to call the salesperson when in need of more products. Though the Internet, salespeople and customers can remain in contact through email, while customers can obtain information by visiting the vendor’s website.
When a company is large enough, it will often have several offices located throughout the state, country or even the world. In the years prior to the Internet, managing employees in several locations could be difficult and costly. Managers would need to make routine trips to visit each location, while meetings could only be held in person or through a teleconference. With the Internet, it’s possible to manage people in several locations through email communication and video conferencing.
Whether you’re in sales or management, the Internet has given you reason to be more accountable to your customers or staff. If you tell a customer that a competitor is selling a product at a certain price, the customer can look that price up with ease online. As such, being honest is important. In management, the Internet has enabled employees to learn about the moves of a company, such as a merger or takeover, from a variety of news sources without a spin. When you deliver the message to your staff members, you will need to be honest, especially if they can research the specifics.