The role of technology in sales management is vital. As technological progress marches on, so do the number of ways in which talented sellers can work their magic.
This is, of course, dependent upon your ability to use technological advances to your advantage to improve your sales outcomes. Here, we’ll be giving you a glimpse of exactly how to use technology in sales to improve your bottom line.
Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) seem to be permeating every industry under the sun, and sales is no exception. While this technology is still in its early stages, it’s already made significant impacts. Experts are predicting it will bring about unprecedented change in how sales are conducted well into the future.
Presently, the greatest impact of these technologies has been in simplifying routine, repeatable tasks and supporting sellers so that they can be more effective.
For example, AI can power the automation of tedious selling tasks like provisioning product and service data or drafting detailed call reports.
With these non-productive processes removed from your sales reps’ daily to-do lists, they have more time to concentrate on their primary task — building relationships with potential clients. This, in turn, helps boost sales and revenue in the long term.
Savvy salespeople can take AI and ML beyond the automation of their most basic tasks, however. These technologies can also help them better understand customer behavior and patterns to improve demand estimation, lead generation, and lead qualification.
AI and ML can support an increasing number of sales functions and improve the impact your most talented salespeople can make.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
CRM systems allow you to keep track of client information and take advantage of useful features like lead management, sales forecasting, customer analytics, and more. Most organizations have some kind of CRM system in place. But if you want to truly harness CRM’s potential, you’ll need to learn how to use CRM to empower your sales team.
CRM can help you zero in on the right leads. You can use it to gain an overarching view of your client base and perfect your ideal prospect profiles.
What’s more, CRM can help you develop deeper relationships with your leads by allowing you to better understand the challenges they face within their industry.
Similar to AI and ML, implementing CRM makes the lives of your sales team easier by reducing the amount of time they need to invest in repetitive tasks. The less time sales reps have to spend on process-heavy tedium, the more time they have to talk to prospects, strengthen relationships, and make money for your organization.
CRM can help you do more than just increase sales, though. Properly utilized, CRM can reduce the number of resources you need to expend to make a sale. By prioritizing leads, you can concentrate on prospects that are most likely to yield results.
CRM also helps you improve repeat business and referrals, which also decreases the amount of effort needed to hunt down new prospects.
There was once a time when all communications had to take place either face-to-face or over the phone. Not so today. Salespeople who can take full advantage of video conferencing can open up new dimensions in how they can connect with prospects and close sales — specifically by opening up new remote possibilities.
Video conferencing grants your salespeople an advantage over traditional phone calling and email by facilitating more authentic communication. Subtle facial cues and body language can play a big part in sales discussion, but they aren’t possible to read over the phone or through an email. Video conferencing literally puts a face on every interaction, allowing your sales team to adjust to visual feedback they’d not otherwise have (and increase their ability to close on deals).
By eliminating the need to travel, it’s easier to get several decision-makers in a room at once. Your sales team can converse with an entire group, answer their questions, build that critical relationship, and reach decisions more quickly. In the long run, you save time and money.
As B2B sales tools, social networks will be around for the long haul. While other sales teams are spitballing the best ways to leverage social networks for greater sales, you can boost your bottom line sales performance by using them to enhance customer-oriented processes like understanding client needs and gauging customer satisfaction.
According to sales and marketing researchers, the B2B sales entities that find the greatest success through social media possess a greater degree of customer orientation. By maintaining high-quality social channels, engaging with prospects, and learning as much as possible about them, you’ll be maximizing the improvements social networks can bring to your bottom line.
Try to focus your efforts on the handful of sites that your best leads are most likely to frequent —don’t cast too wide a net by trying to have a presence on every social platform under the sun. Analytics can aid you in narrowing down the sites your customers use and weeding out social media approaches that don’t work — while fine-tuning the ones that do.
Going forward, a smart strategy for your team will be to incorporate the right sales enablement technology you’ll need to make an impact. With each form of technology you choose to aid your business, you have to find the tools that will streamline your processes and give you a leg up so you can focus on your primary goals.
When it comes to social networks, arming yourself with social selling automation tools like Sharetivity will position your team ahead of the pack in research and prospective client outreach. By cutting down the effort needed for proper sales engagement, you can focus harder on nurturing relationships and boosting your ever-critical sales numbers.