No matter how quickly technology advances, many of the core philosophies of a successful sales strategy will never change.
Knowing the customer and their pain points, being able to coherently explain your value proposition, and nurturing strong relationships will allow you to build a robust sales culture in your organization. But the recent proliferation of mobile broadband technology, combined with increasingly sophisticated software programs are making it easier for salespeople to take their productivity and service skills to new heights.
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Cloud adoption is accelerating among businesses of all sizes, and more and more CEOs are recognizing the potential conveniences and cost savings that come with hosting data on the cloud.
Advanced technology is also making it possible to track and evaluate more sophisticated sales data in real time, and giving salespeople new tools that help them complete tasks more efficiently. It is now clear that, although a good salesperson cannot solely rely on technological solutions to do their jobs, innovative tech products are changing B2B sales processes in profound ways.
The cloud turns road warriors into mobile information hubs
The average B2B customer expects more from their sales representatives than ever before. They want more information, detailed answers and quicker responses. Thanks to mobile-friendly cloud platforms, it is easy and inexpensive for any salesperson to give prospects what they want.
Many cloud solutions combine inventory management, accounting, customer service, and e-commerce in a single platform, so sales reps can quickly provide customers with accurate and up-to-date information no matter how far away from the office they are.
There is no need to send a customer to accounts receivable if they have a question about their bill, or forward them to a help desk representative to check on the status of a ticket they have opened.Traveling sales reps now have instant access to current information as it changes, allowing them to further cultivate their relationships with the client and provide a streamlined, cohesive customer experience. And with properly implemented CRM tools, sales organizations see as much as $8.71 in ROI for every dollar spent, according to data from Nucleus Research.
Real-time metrics allow managers to make adjustments instantaneously
To make your sales operation as lean as possible it is imperative to measure a wide range of performance metrics for team members.
For most of history this was a tedious affair, and it was so time-consuming that results could generally only be evaluated on a weekly or monthly basis. Imagine how much you could lose in productivity by not correcting a glaring issue for an entire month.
New software programs that read data from phone and email databases now give sales managers the ability to look at performance numbers as they are updated in real time. As a manager, if you see that one of your sales reps does something which negatively impacts their effectiveness and efficiency, you may be able to address it immediately to avoid future mistakes and limit wasted effort and resources.Additionally, these programs can track more advanced sales metrics, such as qualified lead velocity rate, that were previously tough to compute and analyze.
Training programs are more creative and engaging
A solid sales training program is the backbone of any company that exhibits a proven track record of sales success, and technology has opened up exciting new possibilities. Where many SMBs once relied on hiring expensive consultants or sending their team to out-of-office workshops in order to build a foundational training plan, sales reps now have access to presentations from the world’s leading training experts with just an Internet connection.
You can also find software that incorporates professional development programs, giving sales reps a chance to complete online courses at their own pace so their coursework does not interfere with their other duties.
You can tie these advanced training efforts into an existing incentive program, and encourage your salespeople to adopt new technological systems to better serve their clients and improve their performance. For instance, at SAP, employees and trainees are offered in-classroom support as well as online learning modules to sharpen their skills wherever they are, from their local office and while they are on the road.
Sales acceleration technology opens up new avenues for productivity
Sales acceleration technology is a category of software that is specifically designed to help salespeople work smarter and faster, and it is poised to grow exponentially in the coming years. It allows sales reps to track their own performance, better integrates marketing and sales efforts, and incorporates sophisticated tools that salespeople can use to monitor market trends and make informed decisions about future opportunities.
In an article on Bain Insights, Bain and Company partners Dianne Ledingham, Mark Kovac, and Laura Beaudin, along with director Sarah Dey Burton, state:
Investments in technology can automate or eliminate low-value activities from sales reps so they can spend more time with customers. Coca-Cola Enterprises, for example, has equipped its field sales reps with a mobile application that gives them detailed information about each store they serve, including the store’s assessment of Coca- Cola’s performance. The company also released a mobile app that enables store owners to reorder and log service requests. As a result, both the sales team’s productivity and customer satisfaction have risen.
Another benefit of sales acceleration technology is that it aligns the customer’s purchasing journey with the company’s sales effort.
As customers have access to increasing amounts of product information via online resources, sales professionals can use detailed and segmented data collected from the software to better understand the needs and wants of their clients.
However, sales acceleration technology is not a substitute for the human connection between salesperson and client. Instead, it gives your sales reps better tools they can use to enrich these relationships.
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