A salesperson who constantly pushes paper, assembles analytics and imports information is a salesperson who is not selling.
A company that clears the saleperson’s path of routine, repetitive, time-consuming tasks is making a smart investment in that salesperson’s ability to achieve and exceed revenue goals and productivity standards.
Recent Harvard Business Review studies on sales and marketing productivity uncovered gains in business operations making an investment in Marketing and Sales Productivity systems (MSP). The HBR reports that, in cases they reviewed, sales increases arising from advanced marketing and sales information technology have ranged from 10% to more than 30%.
There’s CRM – Customer Relationship Management. There are Predictive Analytics tools to help sales teams anticipate revenue trends and buying habits. There’s Big Data to create clear pictures of who the customer is and what drives them to buy. There’s Sales Force Automation and Lead Management. And we haven’t even scratched the surface of available tools yet. As technology evolves, opportunities for sales teams to be more successful grow. With Cloud-based and SaaS technologies, the sales process transitions from cumbersome and task-heavy to agile and revenue-focused.
So, how can technology help sales reps and streamline the sales process? Here are four ways to use technology to create an agile work environment for salespeople.
1. What about data?
Taking full advantage of available Big Data technology can arm your team with the analytics they need at all stages of the sales process, whether it’s working to earn new business, consulting with a prospect during a needs analysis, or making additional recommendations for new services to existing customers. Using big data allows businesses to optimize the customer experience by better understanding the customer’s target audience and market demand for his products. The more information a sales force has, the better they can serve the clients. And, internally, by effectively using analytics, sales teams can identify potential customers and more accurately predict which leads will likely become clients. Employing big data as a tool allows your team to develop a tightly focused sales process. In a nutshell, it’s smart sales.
2. Managing inbound leads
No more hassle with distributing leads to the sales team. Lead Management technology can organize which inbound leads are going to which rep, redirecting leads with a system that sorts and sends, based on set parameters. Marketing Automation technologies can take over routing, responding, qualifying, tracking and reporting on leads. That frees up managers to train and develop the sales force and to create an encouraging environment of success. It also injects fairness into lead distribution, which is good for the sales team’s morale. Happy sales teams generate revenue.
3. Sales automation
Time spent on repetitive tasks takes sales people away from selling. If the technology is in place to take over some of those tasks, such as scheduling sales appointments, sending follow-up email using templates, email tracking, and updating sales opportunities, the reps can do the work that increases revenue. Email Marketing, Contact Management, Pipeline Management applications can be introduced easily into the sales environment as helpful tools for reps to regain the right focus – the focus on the customer’s success. Sales managers gain an accurate method for tracking activity of salespeople, identifying training opportunities to ensure success, and tracking customer satisfaction. In this case, technology allows sales managers to be swift with changes that may be necessary to the success of the organization, while reps are relieved of the “paperwork” part of the job.
4. Instant access to information
Cloud-based CRM technology means the reps have access to the information they need anywhere, anytime. Effective reporting from CRM technology gives sales teams greater clarity about their clients’ needs, spending patterns and favored products. Reps become agile in their work as they effectively use up-to-date information drawn from the CRM. Cloud-based technology allows companies to integrate sales automation with CRM into a single cost-effective solution. The opportunity to build stronger client relationships based on excellent service is a bonus.
Clearing the sales team’s path of obstacles created by “paperwork” they have traditionally done will create a foundation for success. How have you employed technology to help the sales team? Please share with us in the comments section.
Looking for Customer Relationship Management software? Check out Capterra's list of the best Customer Relationship Management software solutions.