Remember that ‘90s film Glengarry Glen Ross? Although set before the times of modern business technology, it is generally considered a must-see for any sales team. It’s easy to understand why, with strong lead performances and numerous quotable lines expressing the dog-eat-dog nature that is stereotypical of sales. However, it’s a tad out of date at this point, for a few reasons.
Today, ‘sales shark’ is a dirty phrase and being able to wing psychological tactics on the spur of the moment isn’t considered a viable strategy. These days consumers, whether they are B2C or B2B, have wised-up and the shrinking effect of the global marketplace means that competition is rife. Sales teams everywhere have had to seriously up their game. Now, real-time data, quick response times, instant communication and effective time-management is separating the serious players from the bottom-feeders. Business technology is what is making all this possible.
It’s said in Glengarry Glen Ross that “Coffee’s for closers only” so, with that in mind, let’s have a look at four ways business technology can give your sales team their mojo back so they can enjoy their coffee in peace!
Every company has data. Data isn’t the problem. The challenge is organising and understanding the data so that meaningful insights can be obtained. CRM software does this for you by collecting customer data from every corner of your company and systematising it in the one place for easy access and comprehensibility. Now you have a holistic view of your customer-base and, if your CRM is in the cloud, it can be accessed by your sales team from anywhere at any time.
This is invaluable for the sales team who needs to know where along the sales pipeline customers are, at any given moment. Depending on what type of company you are, you can quickly find out information such as what customers are most likely to buy due to their history with your company, the best way to contact them, problems they may have had in the past, when they are due for an upgrade, their order status, etc. With a cloud-based CRM, not only can your sales team tap into this actionable data, but they can add to it while they’re on the road.
Speaking of being ‘on the road’, the sales team is typically on the move more than most functions in an organisation. Getting your sales team together in the one place for a meeting or training can be a challenge. Video conferencing is a great way to include everyone in the conversation while keeping communication effective. While emails, instant messaging and phones calls all have their purpose, video conferencing brings back that all-important face-to-face interaction which is vital for motivation, important decision-making and crystal-clear communication.
Video conferencing is also a great way to cut down on travel expenses and save time. If your sales team is finding that half their time is spent getting from A to B, then perhaps some clients would be better suited to a video conference call. If this is done right, then the result should be that more meetings can be had in less time.
People are essential to sales. However, there are some tedious aspects of the job that would be better off automated. According to SalesForce, sales reps spend 25 hours a month leaving voicemails! The amount of emails that are sent doesn’t bear thinking about… A lot of these communications are very repetitive. For example, a follow-up call to a meeting may go something like this, “Hi it’s Joe Bloggs here, it was great meeting you the other day. I’ve got some news that I think you might be interested in. If you could drop me a call on 081 234 5678 that would be great. Thanks!”. Some tools will automate this message for you so that you can send it at a click of a button whenever you need.
More time-consuming aspects of the job can be automated too, such as reporting, lead prioritisation, meeting scheduling, etc. There are plenty of tools on the market to choose from that that provide automation capabilities. It’s just a matter of finding out where your sales team is spending the most time and what can be done to speed up the process.
According to an iReach survey, 90% of Irish people have a smartphone, and the top three uses are emailing, social media and checking the news/weather. So, the nation is online, but is your sales team? Simply put, if your target customers are online, then your sales team needs to be as well.
Social selling is all about interacting directly with clients online to generate leads and build customer relationships. Platforms such as LinkedIn are making this easier for companies every day. LinkedIn helps with prospecting by matching you with your target audience with details such as role, industry, interests and education. Your sales team can reach out to prospects within interest groups or directly via the messaging function. This is a great way to maintain relationships while also building new ones.
Technology is affecting all aspects of business, and your sales team is just one of them. Your frontline needs to be appropriately equipped for modern times, and this means arming them with technology that makes their workday as productive as it can be. Just remember, business technology shouldn’t require your sales team to turn into software operators. You have to choose the right technology to fit in with your company’s culture. Ok, you can go get yourself a well-earned coffee!
At Spector, we are always happy to offer sound advice on how you can grow your business with business technology. Make sure to give us a call on 01 664 4190 or contact us here for a chat about your business goals.