No matter what kind of business anyone runs, if it doesn’t make money, it won’t last. This is why sales is the heart of the company. At the same time, sales is also the most difficult part of running a company. Ensuring that you get and retain clients is not easy considering the number of brands out there that are vying for your customer’s attention.
Sales Software and Digital Tools
Things have become even more complicated in recent years as technology advanced and everybody—companies and customers alike—went online. Sales professionals need to update themselves on this fast-paced business and align with marketing to bring in more revenues for the organization.
Having a sales software or digital sales tools for your business should help your sales team better align with marketing through the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution and sales pipeline. It will also keep track of marketing campaigns and their performance. Within the organization, these devices and apps the sales department automate their workflows to make the sales process more efficient. They also provide the sales team with reporting features and an analysis of their performance to help them become more effective. These features help sales teams coordinate and work toward a common goal more efficiently and effectively.
Sales managers and their executives recognize the usefulness of sales software in particular. Statista says that the industry has grown into a $1.451 billion industry, trending even more as COVID forced many business processes—including sales—to shift online.
The Basic Features of Sales Software
There are a lot of sales softwares under different brands out there. They are different from CRM which we will discuss in another blog. Before you start shopping for one, the best or popular ones usually share five basic functions and/or features:
- Save time for your sales team
- Promote teamwork within and outside the sales department
- Automate workflows to cut down on trivial admin work
- Stay up to date on different sales pipelines
- Exceed sales targets with sales process optimizations
All these features combined bring a lot of advantages to your sales team. First, they free them up from the dreaded paperwork and other admin stuff that consumes their time. Second, this gives them more time to actually pursue and engage with leads. Third, the sales software can help them identify which leads are hot and should be prioritized, and which are cold or disinterested at the moment.
Digital Sales Trends
Knowing the basic functions of the most popular sales software, will hopefully narrow down your search. At the same time, consider the following trends of the digital sales tools today which just might sharpen your sales team’s competitive edge.
The migration of product discovery and education online
Before the pandemic, trade shows and conferences were among the best ways to showcase different products and services as people can actually hold, touch, and test the product or be guided through live demos of services. These avenues were also a good avenue for prospective clients to ask your company questions directly and get immediate answers that could result in instant sales.
With COVID-19 and the rise of the use in technology, prospective clients have moved online and so should your team. This means that your brand should be discoverable on the net. When prospective clients find you, you should have highly personalized and curated experiences on your website to help them discover the products for themselves.
Successful online sales also means being able to deal with the customer through a smart interface and in real time. Be ready to answer any questions that may arise from this and be responsive, no matter which jump off point they may come from. Connecting your marketing campaigns with what customers are responding to can go a long way into making sure that you can close a deal or ensure the loyalty of your existing clients.
A user-friendly interface, engaging content, and customer representatives who are genuinely interested in their clients can enhance the latter’s experience in interacting with the brand. This may be your secret key in winning the sales war. According to the Harvard Business Review, 50% of clients who enjoy a seamless, rewarding customer or user experience with the brand’s representatives or touch points will remain loyal to it.
The centralization of bottom up sales and digital contracting
The landscape of sales is changing. In most companies, it is the top brass who still has the loudest say in whether a product or service will be purchased or not. However, there is a new wave of procurement and adoption happening. Building a relationship with decision-makers is still a very strong sales tactic that wins you large contracts, but quick moving sales innovations that deal directly with front liners are now the bread-and-butter of some of the most wildly successful companies like DocuSign.
When the “bottom” gets enticed to using a certain product or service at relatively small investments, sales can take flight. Making sure that your actual users are happy instead of just pleasing the C-Suite can go a long way in gaining more traction in sales. When users are pleased, then top decision makers can be more at ease knowing that they have the right brand that supports their stakeholders’ needs and wants.
The integration of sales video calls, AI and analytics
Traditionally, selling was a face-to-face arrangement where sales try to gain the trust of their clients as they get to know each other better. COVID restrictions have changed all that. Trust building is still important, but now done through video conferencing, which is less personal, more physically and emotionally taxing, and makes us miss non-verbal cues.
Despite the apparent disadvantage of the digital workaround to actually meeting people, technology has another solution to help sales adjust and adapt. AI and analytics can be used to “read” a customer you’re on a call with by analyzing participant data and see whether the sales pitch appeals to them. These insights can be done in real-time to help sales teams make the right approach in dealing with customers.
For example, putting analytics to work during video conferences can help sales gauge the reactions of their prospective clients to their pitch. The feedback will guide them how to modify their future presentations to increase the chances for a successful video sales pitch.
These new sales trends are rapidly gaining traction, and in an ever-changing business environment, we must be ready to adapt. The crisis has offered new digital ways to connect with customers, and it is the job of sales to integrate all these connection points with the sales software they are using.
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