Have you ever walked out of a store which is offering an end of season discount on premium products because of the unskilled salesman? Back in the nostalgic nineties, middle class families rarely felt such entitlement. Their millennial children however, exert this entitlement with practiced ease. No sales company can afford a slow, unresponsive sales team; the “now generation” has too many options. It is also important to remember that the latest technological developments have been embraced by sales teams to ensure that they are at the top of their game. Sales teams have had to be flexible and adaptive to incorporate the expectations of the customer and the needs of the brand they represent. With the growth of online marketing, the sales industry has had to address these expectations and demands in real time. This is how technology has helped sales deliver successfully:
- Data analytics tools: The elusive unicorn of the digital age is clean and relevant customer data. Just like marketing teams, sales teams deal with a large pile of data left behind by the customer. Data analytics tools allow sales persons to easily analyze customer data, predict and determine which B2B or B2C leads may become clients. This allows sales teams to use their time and efforts more effectively, bringing in more success.
- Handshaking with millions of customers: The popularity of social media sites has been a blessing for sales representatives. It allows sales teams to reach out and engage millions of customers in real time. Social Media also saves a sales representative’s efforts on winning your trust, a popular study states that 73% of millennials rely on peer reviews. It is also noteworthy that most customers aim to make a buy within the hour, which means, a good review of the product from other customers, may lead to a definite buy from the new customer. Research shows that 78% of sales representatives who apply social media tend to outsell their peers who do not use social media for sales.
- Sales Automation Tools: Sales Automation Tools have saved sales teams a lot of human effort and time. It has also reduced the chances of human errors. With Automation tools, sales teams could reach out and follow up with customers efficiently without spending hours on devising plans.
- CRM Technology(Cloud): Customer Relationship Management technology has taken sales to another level. If done correctly, it allows sales people to have a 360 degree view of the client. It gives them great insight into the customer’s world and helps them in understanding the customer’s motivation. The advent of Cloud CRM technology has taken customer relationship management to the next level. It allows sales representatives to access customer data from anywhere and at any time, increasing their response efficiency on social media making it possible for 25% of Facebook and Twitter users to expect a reply to their complaints via social media in less than 1 hour.
Source: 18 Surprising CRM Statistics
- Widespread Use of Mobile Phones: The widespread use of mobile phones has helped sales tremendously. Most of us who search for products through our mobiles, generally tend to buy a reasonably priced and well reviewed product. The most we do is, look at the product specifications and pictures. All of this is done, without even engaging with the sales representative. Mobile Communication and collaboration tools also allow field persons in providing better customer service.
But that is not the only way in which mobiles have helped sales, video chatting apps have made making sales pitch more accessible and easier. Instead of losing out time in arranging for meetings and traveling for meetings, sales pitches can be made through video apps. It allows representatives to predict which clients may convert and become customers and then follow up with them.