By Kathleen Laney - June 27, 2017
We live in a time of unprecedented change. Change that is coming at such a high velocity it seems impossible to keep up with all the technological advancements that are creeping into every aspect of our lives.
One of the most significant aspects of living in this digital revolution is the affect technology will have on work and various organizational job functions. The way we manage, the way we communicate, and even the way we sell are all transforming what we consider ‘traditional roles.’
In the case of sales, new technologies have worked their way into the sales process that has resulted in an ‘adapt or die’ scenario. Instead of trying to hold on to the past and resist adapting to the way of the future, successful businesses will harness modern technologies to improve their ability to sell effectively and prepare for the future of sales.
So, how can management support their sales teams to win?
Invest in people AND technology.
It’s widely accepted that a business must invest in their best people to create and maintain a competitive edge. But without the proper tools to be effective, your sales team will have a hard time keeping up no matter how much you invest in them.
Management must leverage technology to increase their sales team’s productivity. According to research by AA-ISP and Velocify, 84 percent of sales professionals surveyed said that if they were using 10-year-old technology, they’d be much less efficient. The study also found that high-growth companies were more aware of the various sales technology available to them. Companies who want to stay alive will adopt new technology faster than their target markets so they are equipped and available to meet their prospects and customers’ demands.
Give your sales people the flexibility they need.
What does this have to do with technology? EVERYTHING.
Technology has fueled an ‘always on’ culture. Salespeople feel obliged to respond immediately to inquiries and requests from anywhere at any time. Because most sales reps still have demanding travel schedules, work mobility is essential to a sales rep’s ability to respond quickly to prospects’ and clients’ demands and needs. Management today must provide sales teams with tools, such as cloud storage systems, automated invoicing, digital signatures, and CRM and collaboration apps, to enable them to do things on the go. A sale rep’s true value to a client is their ability to provide timely, pertinent information and this can only be done with the right mobility tools.
Arm you sales team with data.
Prior to the digital revolution, research was time-consuming and inefficient. Gaining information about your competitive landscape and your prospects required hours of detective work that might include extensive travel, hiring experts and consultants, or buying expensive industry reports. The internet, followed by smartphones, changed all that.
Now with a quick click of the ‘enter’ key, not only can your prospects learn about your product, but you can learn about your prospects. From company websites to social media accounts and shares, more information is at your sales team’s fingertips than ever before. You can sign your team up for premium accounts on platforms such as LinkedIn or adopt sales automation programs that integrate your CRM with other programs including email. These tools will enable your sales team to dig deep more quickly.
Sales may forever remain an art, but the techniques today are rapidly evolving. Sales teams will not be successful resting on the methods of the past. A simple strategy for success is to ensure your sales team uses technology to remain ahead of the competition and in line with the habits of prospects and customers.