Salesforce Productivity and Deal Closing
If you have a business that sells something then the future of sales is an important topic. Typically the way people in sales utilize technology to increase their productivity and ability to close the deal changes as quickly as technology itself. Very few other areas have such a high level of competition where the slightest edge will be exploited than sales.
So how can you expect technology to change in a meaningful way that will modify how salespeople work? Let’s look at these four technological ideas and how they relate to the future of sales.
Metrics are gold – It’s funny, when the big idea of “Moneyball” came out people were skeptical about using numbers to replace “feelings and intuition” in something like baseball (which is similar to sales in some ways). But now the idea of pure metrics has invaded every industry. Of course it makes perfect sense as numbers simply don’t lie. As technology has gotten so much more efficient at capturing “real time” data it becomes much easier to see the effects of strategies. Also you can more effectively gather data about customers, potential customers, and even your sales force. This makes it easier to help with the training of the sales people to turn “average Joe” into “better than average” along with better targeting of your market.
Tablets are in – Well that is an understatement. Basically tablets are the new portable PC option replacing laptops. With some of the new options on the market that have incredible capabilities and processing power, plus the way people use cloud storage, the need for laptops is dwindling. If your current sales force uses laptops you should look at the benefits of converting to tablets. They are much more convenient to take to meetings and shows that your company and sales force are up to date. Did we mention they look cool?
CRM is finally beneficial – For some people CRM (customer relationship management) is a waste of time. In fact, studies have shown that some implementations have been a complete failure. A big part of this has to do with the accumulation of data. It might have been difficult for the sales force to properly track information leading to a sales manager not having the proper data to work with and making misinformed decisions based on inaccurate date. Now with software, smart phones and tablet advances it is much easier to track key data and interactions along every step of a sale and simply becomes “part of the process” and expected. With accurate and complete data, managers have an easier time planning.
Cold Calls are dead – Think about this on a personal level; how often do you take a call from an unknown number? Between government regulation (The FTC’s “Do not call list”) and advances in technology in number recognition the ability to easily cold call clients or use auto-dialers is shrinking quickly. Everyone has voicemail and it is so easy to tap a button on your smartphone and send a call there than waste time with an unknown number. So let’s stick a fork in this lead generation method and focus on social media and developing “circles” of contacts to work within and other new options.