There’s one thing that you’ll never hear a sales rep say: “I wish there were more sales app on the market. There just aren’t enough.”
In the digital age, data has become the ultimate currency, helping organisations better understand and connect with their customers in more meaningful ways. As consumer purchasing behaviour has evolved to become less predictable, more impulsive and ‘always-on’, sales teams have had the most to gain from unprecedented insight into their customer base.
To capitalise on the opportunity, organisations have invested heavily in solutions designed to make sales teams more agile and responsive. But the investment isn’t paying off.
With the overabundance of various tools, instead of giving reps more time to sell, many are inundated with more information than they can effectively use or absorb, and are tied up with unproductive administration rather than running with sales leads. Sales professionals are drowning in tech tools and, consequently, ‘sales distraction’ is hindering performance, causing more than half (56%) of global organisations to miss annual sales forecasts.
There are countless, cool-sounding gadgets that promise the world – and fabulous ROI. We’ve taken an in depth look at how overwhelming it can be to even get the ball rolling when there are so many options and losses in productivity as a result of implementing the wrong tool. Every day, it seems, another new software solution debuts with breathless assurances that it will transform, disrupt and/or revolutionise your business.
To truly help sellers deliver the experiences customers desire and the offers they find meaningful, organisations need leverage technology to deliver predictive and prescriptive insights to sales. In order to cater to the needs of the client, the staff, and management, it’s not uncommon for companies to have multiple tools.
Creating a Stack That Grows with the Business
At Clarity International, we like live by the maxim that “A goal without a plan is just a wish” and understand the importance of “measure twice, cut once” when helping our clients find the best future-proofed combination of tools to help make life easier and let the business flourish.
A technology stack, be it focused on sales, eLearning, or employee engagement, should be flexible and have the ability to change as the business evolves. Your team may be small today, but the goal is to have a stack that will grow with your business. No one likes having to rip out a tool and replace it with something else; that’s just a huge distraction for your sales team.
Sales and marketing are becoming more science and less art. But there’s always going to be a human component to both, and that means thoughtfully choosing sales tools that can sift through your data. Every client needs a different solution, and this should be based on substance, not just the bells and whistles.
Companies can be lulled into thinking they’re already doing everything right. Most know how to think through customer search needs or have ramped up their use of social media. Yet tools and standards are changing faster than companies can react. Customers will soon be able to search for products by image, voice, and gesture, and find new opportunities via devices that augment their reality.
How do you stack up?
We have been on the lookout for a breakthrough product we can help our clients implement that will solve the problem of sales distraction once and for all and intelligently manage the sales workflow. Along with this, and as we’ve covered previously, we also understand that with implementation should come significant training and support, or else users will discard the tools, resulting in sunken costs.
This quest for sales perfection is not in vain – during the next five years or so, we’re likely to see a radical integration of the consumer experience across physical and virtual environments. Already, the consumer decision journey has been altered by the ubiquity of big data, the Internet of Things, and advances in web coding and design. Customers now have endless online and off-line options for researching and buying new products and services, all at their fingertips 24/7.
With a connected understanding of customers’ propensity to purchase and sellers’ behaviours, along with the power of predictive insights, sales leaders can cut through the noise of today’s selling environment and focus on active sales management techniques that bring the principles of outcome selling to life.
The sales tech stack is being built as we speak, and it’s paving the way for the next generation of engagement platforms. For the first time, these tools and technologies are giving visibility into the “how” of sales, not just the “how much” which is both exciting and necessary.
In the end, the goal is not just to add another reporting layer for management, but to build a stack that actually allows sales professionals to be the best version of themselves and helps them do what they were hired to do – close.