Whether you like it or not, technology is here to stay, even more so in the business world. Why? Because technology is proven to increase productivity. According to research carried out by The Telegraph, technology has led to an 84% productivity increase since the 1970s. Attaining high productivity levels, however, is no walk in the park. You have to work hard, be innovative and adopt modern technologies to compete well.
This is no truer than within your sales team, as technology and salespeople go hand in hand. There exists a positive correlation between the use of technology and productivity levels as far as sales are concerned. Salespeople who use modern sales technologies have confessed to experiencing a rapid increase in the amount of sales made as opposed to non-use of such technologies. If you have not embraced technology as a salesperson then you risk falling behind your competition.
The technologies that can help improve sales to a higher level include, but are not limited to:
1. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system
CRM is a fundamental technology for building customer relationships and helps in mastering your customers and getting full knowledge about them. This will enable you as a salesperson to develop the most appropriate marketing strategies that target your customers’ specific needs. But how then do you source, sort and store customer information? It’s very simple: record your customers’ product likes and dislikes, how they spend, where they are located, their age, their job role and even their gender.
Being well versed with detailed customer knowledge will help you as a salesperson to segment your customers into categories for easy targeting. With all this information at your fingertips, you will know when to sell to them, which of your customers are most profitable and will make a purchase, reducing the instances of wasting time with customers who will bargain your products to low prices or fail to buy.
2. Using Smartphones and tablets
These devices are not just for purposes of prestige and showing off. They have become a key influencer in terms of making sales. Most people nowadays do their shopping or research new products online via smartphones and tablets. How can you neglect to use these when your customers are using them? Shopping on tablets and smartphones accounted for 40 percent of all online retail sales made in the UK between the month of November 2014 and January 2015 as reported by the latest figures from IMRG and Capgemini. When it comes to research, however, 81% of people turn to the web first before making a big purchase. With stats like these, it’s pretty clear that mobile technology is here to stay.
3. Accessing back office systems
Your back office system is designed and engineered specifically to improve productivity levels and allow users to focus on sales leadership. Many businesses do not realize the importance of transactional data for the sales team but this can be the winning factor in increasing sales productivity. By accessing vital information about your customers you will be able to identify market trends, find new selling opportunities and enhance your knowledge of each customer. You’ve heard of the phrase ‘knowledge is power’ and your back office system is the tool to give you that knowledge.
The best way to use this technology is to combine it with your smartphone, tablet or PC via a portal that is web-based. This will help you as a salesperson to access key information, make sound decisions and respond quickly to market challenges, customer requests or even a sudden drop in an account’s spend.
4. Communication tools
Staying connected to the office is an important factor for every salesperson. Being able to collaborate quickly, speak to your decision maker to finalize a deal or even getting a fast response to an email that you just sent all aids productivity levels.
A few simple tips would include synchronizing your smartphone to your office phone so that all calls are re-routed to wherever you are, so you never miss a call. You could utilize the latest LTE connection so that files are downloaded to your device quickly and your CRM system is updated on the fly or even using instant messaging so you can get an instant response from your colleagues.
The technologies I’ve mentioned above are just a few examples of any modern salesperson’s toolkit and there are many others like it, for instance: sales intelligence software, predictive analytics, video technology, webinar software, smartphone applications or even gamification.
Gone are the days of a ‘one solution fits all’; with the advancement of technology, there are specific tools designed to help each department. As a salesperson, it is very important for you and the future of your organization that you are given the right tools for your job.