15 Apr 4 Ways Sellers Can Use Technology to Drive the Sales Process
Guest post by: Matt Scarchilli and Lauren Valentine of Winning Process, LLC (a Sandler Training Center)
Today's buyer's journey has evolved into online-heavy research and marketing, but technology is still crucial to the sales process and its success.
Staying relevant and timely requires savvy sellers to change their sales focus and embrace new ideas within the new aspects of selling. Here are four ways to use technology to drive the sales process:
#1 Use technology to seek out quality prospects
Ineffective salespeople try to sell everyone. Great salespeople get specific. They identify the exact names, positions, and relevant connections of everyone on their prospect list, and then they work their network to get personal introductions to the people they’ve identified as high-value targets. The Advanced Search function on LinkedIn is a great tool for doing basic pre-approach research.
#2: Employ a Customer Relationship Management Solution (CRM)
Today's sales team must keep up with enormous amounts of leads (at least they hope so). Unlike last century's sales tactics of visiting in person to gain sales, there are multiple channels for acquiring prospects now. Social media, blogs, trade shows, referrals, and advertising are just a few ways potential customers find you, and all this information needs to be organized. A CRM holds all contacts close, providing a variety of ways to search for and log information that is useful during the sales cycle. No more customer lists that aren't updated or prospects that fall between the cracks.
#3: Use technology to automate parts of the sales process
With the marketplace so saturated with seemingly identical apps and digital-tools, it is sometimes unclear which offer the greatest advantages to your team. While all companies will vary in this step, there is one overarching truth that encompasses most; the technologies that you give your team should be synergistic and work collaboratively with each other. The fewer systems your team must slog through and the less time they spend in them, the more time they can spend with clients or on revenue-generating activities. Using apps that work within each other and share data between them will make your team’s job that much easier.
When considering technologies, it’s always important to identify what parts of your process can be automated and completed on the front end, once more opening up time for your team to spend with clients. Some processes that can be automated in many industries are:
- E-mail Sequencing (Follow-Up)
- Prospecting Auto-dialer
- Triggers for Contact (Instant Messaging on Sites and Responses to Inquiries)
- Calendar Scheduling Software
#4: Take advantage of additional sales-smoothing technology
Other indirect pieces of technology aid the sales process in remarkable ways. From electronic signing tools to hasten the tedious "we haven't gotten around to the paperwork yet" claim, to document sharing and editing systems that keep sales updated on new pricing, promotions, and payment terms, these handy elements complement direct selling initiatives to create a modern, more streamlined experience.
Smart sales representatives and managers will take these four technology tips and implement them for a more powerful, less stressful sales process. However, it is important to remember that technology cannot replace skills such as problem solving, critical thinking, ability to communicate well, etc. Technology can make facilitating a conversation easier, but it is ultimately the responsibility of the salesperson to make the conversation successful.
Matt Scarchilli is CEO of a Sandler Training center in the Capital District, called Winning Process, LLC. Lauren Valentine is an executive associate at Winning Process. For over 10 years, the firm has provided sales training, management, and leadership training to individuals and companies resulting in greater levels of personal and professional success.