Technology for salespeople is a no-brainer. But have you thought about finding the right technology for salespeople in your company?
I mean, we all know the important role tech plays in our day-to-day lives; could you honestly cut yourself off from technology, even for a day? I’m 100% sure you’d struggle. A lot. In a professional capacity, we all rely on it to close deals, generate leads, promote products or services and email our colleagues across the world.
Times have moved on in the last 20 or so years and a salesperson’s toolkit no longer consists of a battered catalogue, a Rolodex that is falling apart and portable telephone that resembles a small house brick. Not saying that these gadgets of the past weren’t effective, but technology has come on leaps and bounds since then and we’re far more productive and streamlined than we ever were before.
Smartphones, tablets, marketing automation tools, sales software, digital catalogues, email, video conferencing…I could go on for hours.
Some of these should be core additions to any sales team’s toolkit, particularly if they are spending a lot of the time away from the office and the heart of your business. Technology is one of the only ways that will keep them connected to your business even when they are hundreds of miles away from HQ. So here are some of the more modern tools that any good salesperson should be using to stay ahead of the game.
Smartphones and tablets
These are the absolute staples of any sales person that is out on the road and with the affordability of smartphones and tablets today, there is no reason for your sales team to not have them. From the most basic of features like making calls and sending emails, smartphones and tablets are some of the most advanced gadgets you can equip your team with. They can write proposals, take notes, log data in mobile CRMs or even take pictures of business cards that will instantly be added to their contacts. Smartphones are the very bare basics for most of us and this is certainly not limited to salespeople alone.
With the development of mobile connectivity, smartphones have become indispensable to every salesperson. 4G, even 5G connectivity means we can be connected in just about every corner of the world and as roaming charges continue to fall, we can be online and active wherever we find ourselves.
There is absolutely no doubt that a customer relationship management (CRM) system is vital in any business. No matter what industry you operate within or what you sell, CRM is the single way to ensure your entire business is kept in the loop with any customer interactions, calls, outcomes, product issues or even complaints.
Systems have become easier to use and no longer require a user to be particularly technology savvy and will work for anyone. There is no limit or restriction of business type, industry or number of employees; as long as you have customer information, you will benefit from a CRM system. They can help sales people to know exactly how to approach every call. Adding a personal touch to each of your customer relationships will make you so much more memorable to your customers and you will be outsmarting the competition in no time.
Where do we even start with sales technology? There is a myriad of products, software, tools and gadgets out on the market today. From digital catalogues to online order processing software, stock management and even software that will do your prospecting for you, sales is getting easier. It all makes hitting your number a little less stressful as month end approaches.
While sales technology will help you to do your bit, it will also ensure that the company and brand you are representing is perceived in a professional manner. If you met with two sales reps from competing companies: one had everything stored neatly on a tablet and the other had a messy notepad, jotting notes down and struggling to find your last order invoice in amongst the reams of paper they’d lugged into your office; which would you rather do business with? If they can’t keep themselves organized in meetings, what is to say they will be organized when it comes to processing your orders?
While traditional ERP and CRM systems are great and we are not discrediting the huge impact these can have on business processes – most are still incredibly labor intensive and require a lot of time to retrieve and analyze business information. This is where the Business Intelligence (BI) systems of today step in and take a weight off when it comes to data analysis.
Any product salesperson worth their salt will benefit from a BI system. Take a minute and think about it: you’re managing thousands of customers, prospects and products all at once and information overload is one of the biggest parts of your day. A good BI system will quickly remove the reliance on manual data analysis, spreadsheets, notes and files in the back of your company car. It tracks your customers’ purchasing behavior, telling you what they bought last, what they haven’t bought but, more importantly, what they SHOULD be buying from you. Spotting opportunities like this may sound straightforward enough, but when you have reams of information in front of you, it’s not in the slightest.
The market for automating marketing processes is set to grow to an astounding $4.8bn in 2015. There is no easy way to manage every lead, prospect and customer – particularly if you have thousands of them on your hands, with every single one at a different stage in their buying cycle. It can get messy and time specific collateral can often go astray. There’s no use in sending a welcome email to a customer that has been with you for two years. Well-timed, relevant marketing makes for happy customers and a memorable experience.
Lead nurturing, scoring, relationship marketing, cross and up-selling opportunities, customer retention and even measuring marketing ROI, these are just some of the features that good marketing automation programs can provide. With a stellar marketing team comes a well-informed, powerful sales team that can expertly pounce on prospects at the perfect time and close a deal quickly and easily.
If you want to find out a bit more about the tools your salespeople should be using, we can always help. Give us a call or get in touch here.