Advances in technology are transforming the world of sales. And while teams are likely to have been using CRMs for some time, the way technology is evolving could soon see the process taken up to a whole new level.
For managers this presents both an opportunity and a challenge. Making the most of digital tools to streamline processes and improve efficiency is an important part of running a successful business. But encouraging teams to fully buy in to anything new, and to use it to the max, can sometimes be a little trickier.
So what does the future hold for sales technology? And how can you get team buy in? The secret may lie in what’s coming.
Here are 3 emerging trends to look out for:
The foot is firmly on the gas when it comes to a shift away from manual and onto automatic data entry. And for sales teams – get ready to give a cheer – it means admin is going to be increasingly on its way out. Leaving sales reps to focus on what they’re good at, talking to people and selling. As automatic data entry gets cleverer, you could soon find a CRM pulls everything seamlessly together for you, including emails, phone calls, calendar entries, customer insights….making the whole process quicker and really easy. You could soon just need to add in a name and all publicly held information will be automatically added to their profile for you, so you’re already miles ahead of the game.
Digital tools are evolving as the sector evolves and in tandem with the trend for more joined-up working between sales and marketing teams. The sales process itself is becoming more and more about the individual and about providing a personalised sales journey for each buyer. In the same way, the features and functions being provided through sales technology are focusing more on the individual and their experience. This means you can ensure the right message goes to the right person at exactly the right time. Clients feel understood and cared for, because they’re not being hit with info on anything that doesn’t interest them.
Insights to land the deal
Technology will also increasingly provide insights and information that can help aid teams in closing a sale and knowing what may lead to larger, or more long-lasting relationships. This may include insights into a prospect’s behaviour and flagging up signals so sales can get in there and have an impact on the outcome. A key part of this will be the ability to get real-time information and to react quickly. Banks of data are growing by the day, so digital tools will not only be able to help automate processes, but mine the data and pull out what is most needed.
These new tools can generally be broken down into two main types – tools that provide intelligence so reps really understand their prospects, and tools that give teams the insights they then need to land the deal. Salesforce, Zoho and Microsoft Dynamics are just a few of the companies leading the way in this area.
Top tip: For smaller companies who may not have their own CRM, there are still tools that can help you. First check out the options you may have with software you’re already using. For example, Lead Forensics offers a form of built in contact management tool that will give you many helpful functions.
Getting your team on board
Sales reps are at their heart people’s people. They enjoy the interaction, the challenge and the wins. Give them an opportunity to speak to a potential prospect 1-on-1 and they’ll jump at it. However, encouraging reps to dedicate time to learning and getting used to using a new system or new software, can prove far more difficult.
Lots of training and patience will be needed. But the key is showing reps how the new software can make their life easier. Once they see how much the technology can help them and they see the type of information it can provide that they wouldn’t otherwise know, then they’re far more likely to get on board with it.
Today’s most successful sales reps are the ones using digital tools to their full potential. They are using tools that can arm them with all sorts of information when they need it, and before they talk to clients. It can tell them things they never knew before, like flagging up what a prospect may be interested in by seeing which pages on the website they looked at. This saves them time trying to dig for information and figuring stuff out during a conversation.
All these things are now possible and with sales technology continuing to advance at a fantastic rate, more and more doors will continue to be opened.