If you’re one of the many sales managers who is concerned with your sales team’s lackluster performance, you might be tempted to think that more training is your best hope. Although it didn’t work before, perhaps things will turn around if you could redouble your efforts or find a better sales coach. You hope that more training will help them get up to speed on how to engage prospects and close more sales.
While continuous improvement in the art of sales is part of the game, particularly during a troubling slump in sales volume, it’s not your only option. Technology can also be used to make the sales process more efficient.
Technology has helped businesses improve productivity, cost-effectiveness, and efficiency in many aspects of business—but, these performance breakthroughs aren’t just restricted to improved organization… they can also be used to streamline the sales process.
Here are 5 ways that technology can have a direct impact on improving sales:
- Improving Outbound Call Center Results
While, of course, it’s necessary to have well-trained agents on the phones, equipping them with outbound call center software can significantly boost their rate of lead generation. For instance, software like Predictive Dialer will calculate the number of calls to make based on real time data and statistics while Power Dialer will place a continuous number of predetermined calls based on the ratio of available agents.
- Managing Big Data
The problem with big data is that it can be overwhelming. As a result, much of it is not captured, managed, or analyzed to glean customer insights. However, the right data analytics software, informed with a customer data model, can identify B2C or B2B prospects who are most likely to become customers. This automated winnowing process makes it much easier for a sales manager to direct his or her team where to focus their attention. However, analytics can do more than just target the right people out of a list of potential customers; it can also provide guidance on what type of offers appeal most to members of a target audience.
- Gathering Customer Intelligence on Social Media
The primary benefit of social media is that it gives sales people direct access to potential customers. While it’s not a good platform for direct sales, as people dislike being pitched on social media, it is an excellent way to do market research on a budget. it does give salespeople a chance to ask questions to understand people’s buying preferences. This feedback can create a distinct advantage in a competitive market where a tweak in pricing, offers, or other change can be used to customize a unique selling proposition.
- Using the Cloud to Access Customer Information
One of the most powerful technologies used in sales is Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software because it integrates marketing with sales and customer support. Although effective when running on an onsite computer system, it becomes even more formidable when used in the cloud.
When stored in the cloud, the software can be accessed from anywhere as well as at any time. This means that it is easy for a sales person to access the software when they are on the road, culling data on customers they intend to contact, visit or follow up on. In effect, it makes a sales team much more productive in the field.
- Engaging Customers with Mobile Technology
The widespread use of mobile technology benefits both sales people and customers. In fact, a smartphone or tablet can now be considered an essential sales tool. The technology can be used by a sales person to provide a video presentation or show data charts to a customer. It can also be used by customers to do independent research on the company’s product and pricing in relation to it competitors.
It requires a particular type of extroversion and persuasion to be an effective sales person. However, technology makes it much easier to find the right prospects, offer customers the information they need to make a buying decision, and empower sales people to follow up on interested prospects in a timely way.