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The changing face of sales


written by Natalie Davies

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We all hear chat about how today’s buyer is changing. No longer a static individual, waiting for a sales call to spark some interest or make them think twice about how they are approaching a particular aspect of their lives, but an educated, switched on group that know what they do and do not want.

Then…

Step back in time 10 years (when, yes, I was just 13!) to a time when sales people were lumbered with a presentation, a data sheet, a quota and simply told to go sell. But let’s take a snapshot of today’s sales efforts and you’ll find a highly predictable, optimized and automated group of people.

Sales tools and technology have developed an incredible amount of late. From your basic CRM systems to top spec EPOS and BI systems and systems that combine everything you could ever need as a sales person. Those little black books are a thing of the past, endless box files in the back of your car are a distant memory and sales has changed for the better as an optimized, productive sales force take center stage.

Sales is moving forwards. From the traditional mobile phone, notepad and laptop to smartphones and tablets. Not only does it look more impressive when you walk into a sales meeting with a tablet rather than a messy file of notes. But with a tablet, your sales reps can combine PowerPoint presentations, visual aids, customer surveys and product data in sales meetings. Coupled with customer contact details, maps and route optimization, calendar planning and organizing activities are all within reach in a few taps. With all of this information combined on a tablet, you will be in strong position when it comes to making a sales call.

A step up and you’ll have CRM systems that track every single one of your interactions with your customers, who your key contacts are, what they have ordered from you in the past and what your next action points should be with this customer.

An even bigger step up and your business intelligence tools come to the forefront. Working in direct collaboration with your back office system these bits of kit will optimize your sales people, transforming them from a reactive team into a proactive one. Actively chasing sales, identifying opportunities and tracking threats will make them a better part of your team.

Now…

Enter better suits, hi tech tablets, smart phones, intuitive business apps and the superstar sales people of 2013. With sales and marketing tools becoming increasingly prevalent, there are no excuses for not being a stellar sales person. Despite the challenging economic times, sales and marketing tools are empowering sales people from across every industry.

Through the power of the Internet, social media, smartphones and increasingly hi tech research solutions, the buyers of today are more switched on than ever before. When you make your first call as a salesperson, more often than not, your prospect may already know who you are, what you do and what you sell. The advent of technology means buyers are now able to research your product offering, you, your company before they give you that all-important “Yes”.

The likes of Twitter and LinkedIn, coupled with blogs and reviews means your sales operation needs to take a jump into the future and step up their game in order to keep up with the changing habits of their buyers.

Written By -

I’m another marketing bod here at sales-i (that is marketing exec come social secretary, branded wardrobe, stationary cupboard, fixer of the printer and chief maker of a terrible cup of tea). I get to work with the two delights that are Chris and Steve who have taken it upon themselves to educate me on all things football and Star Wars. I’m a Villa or Birmingham City fan depending on which of them you ask. I really rather enjoy reading and writing (I’m not that great at the maths thing, as Chris will tell you). What I lack in Star Wars and football knowledge, I make up for with a keen eye for a good wine and a great impression of a Wookie.

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