Always Available, Always On:

What Marketing & Sales can learn from Tinder

Yesterday, Apple announced that the iTunes App Store had reached 1.3 million applications—increased from the 1.2 million mobile apps announced in June. Additionally, Google Play features approximately 1.36 million applications. Let’s face it, today the consumer market demands mobile. And, even if the market user of a product is not the budget holding buyer, the reality is that the majority of our corporate prospects are buying with a very different consumer in mind.

When embarking on my career in corporate sales, I would have been doomed without the guidance and bizarre perspective bestowed on me by my, at the time, mentor—a rather outrageous and seemingly chaotic individual who, lucky for me, proved to be a social selling savant of some sort. The basis of this genius adviser’s sales mantra? Dating as a metaphor for selling.

Now, you’re probably wondering how this kooky take on sales relates to the ever growing mobilization of our marketplace. And, more importantly, why are either of these matters critical to the future of your livelihood?

Critical learnings from the collision of mobile and dating below expose how sales professionals should adapt their perspective during the lead nurture stage of the sales cycle, in order to continue increasing the ROI that is gained over COA, and to finish FY14 strong with a mile high increase in your Q4 revenue win.

Yep, Tinder just did the global sales force a major solid.

Today, technology innovation is rapidly driving the evolution of business strategy in alignment with the rise of the #disrupt movement. Developers, marketers, businessmen, and sales organizations alike have all figured out that content is key for raising brand awareness and driving engagement with customers. Unfortunately, what they’re realizing is content alone is not enough to mature the deal to 100% close-won, as we’ve begun to see many sales organizations experience a huge build-up at the end of their sales funnel behind the 90% commit stage.

What’s the missing factor? CONTEXT.

Sharing marketing content drives exposure for the brand and, perhaps, helps convince the market that your value proposition is valid— but, this only wins half the battle. Content supplies the prospect with a message; however, strategic use of context is what truly equips a seller with the power to make his/her desired outcome a reality. For instance, take the example we found in Tinder.

Tinder represents a new phase in the era of, not only online dating, but also lending reality. Tinder’s own Sean Rad describes the significance of taking online-dating (or “Facebook creeping”) away from the cold blue light of one’s computer and into the pockets of its users:

‘Not only is the app free, but it tries its best to mimic the experience of perusing hotties in a bar, as opposed to surfing pictures on the web like a creep. And that’s the dream, right? To look across a crowded room and see eyes glaring back at you, silently undressing you until numbers are exchanged…, and some token of trust and monogamy has been formed.’ (#Love: I’m Single, Therefore I Tinder”, TechCrunch)

You see, where Tinder went right was focusing on the basic user experience. Tinder desires for its users’ experience on the app to be as exciting, entertaining, and anxiously thrilling as it is to pick up a stranger in a bar. Here lies the main reason Rad and the Tinder team chose to develop an app in the first place—always on, always connected, always available.

Tinder’s example shows us, as sales leaders, the ultimate gamification strategy for increasing the rate of return on your cost of acquisition. That is, positioning the sale in a way that our, often young and inexperienced, sales force has been conditioned to recognize as the most accessible and relevant pastime today—a mobile app; instantly gratifying and always satisfying any millennial’s thirst for entertainment, attention, and, ultimately, total domination.