Although sales is a relationship-driven business, technology is playing an increasingly important role in generating, strengthening, and sustaining those relationships. Technology is revamping today’s sales process, which is why it’s important that teams adapt to these emerging technologies and learn to integrate them into their internal practices.
Salespeople can leverage technology to improve their visibility, generate more leads, establish long-term relationships with customers, build a strong sales pipeline, enhance responsiveness, and, ultimately, move toward nurturing and converting leads.
There are a number of up-and-coming technologies that can improve the performance and efficiency of sales teams. Here are five top technologies for today’s sales teams:
Robust CRM Platforms
Customer relationship management (CRM) platforms have become one of the most tried-and-true technologies for salespeople. As Salesforce defines it, “A CRM solution helps you focus on your organization’s relationships with individual people — including customers, service users, colleagues, or suppliers — throughout your lifecycle with them, including finding new customers, winning their business, and providing support and additional services throughout the relationship.”
Today’s salespeople are tasked with a number of responsibilities, including filing sales orders, forecasting potential sales growth, and, of course, managing ongoing communication with current and potential customers. Furthermore, the amount of customer information and profile details can easily hinder decision making and data analysis, even for top employees.
Modern CRM systems help salespeople manage these tasks, while also providing more thorough information that can yield profitable results. For example, many CRM systems now utilize predictive analytics, which makes use of techniques like data mining, modeling, machine learning, and artificial intelligence, as well as big data, to analyze current sales data and make reliable predictions for the future.
Reliable Web Conferencing Solutions
Due to pandemic, many businesses (and their sales teams) were quickly forced to transition to remote work. As there’s no end in sight for the work-from-home lifestyle for many organizations, sales teams must be agile in finding new ways to service customers and land new deals.
For example, salespeople once utilized face-to-face and in-person meetings to facilitate their operations, get face time with clients, and pitch proposals to prospective customers. However, because travel is discouraged while infection transmission remains a risk, salespeople have become more reliant on virtual communication tools.
Web conferencing solutions like Zoom and Google Hangouts now play a critical role in both internal and external communications. If you haven’t yet implemented video conferencing options and still relegate communication to phone calls, now’s the time to make the switch. Video conferencing is the next-best thing to in-person sales meetings, and it’s likely to remain a vital tool while the pandemic persists.
Secure Networking Solutions
Salespeople are responsible for a great deal of confidential internal and external data including customer contracts and financial information, and with cases of cybercrime rapidly increasing in recent months, it’s vital to ensure that sales teams take the proper measures to ensure this data remains secure.
Network security refers to the technologies, processes, and policies used to defend any network, network traffic, and network-accessible assets from cyberattacks, unauthorized access, and data loss. They help to mitigate risk of some of the most common cyberattacks. One example of network security solutions are software-defined wide-area networks, or SD-WAN, which have become more popular as remote work has increased. Utilizing secure networking solutions helps to ensure that security coverage extends beyond the company’s headquarters or main office locations, and keeps remote individuals secure while working with sensitive data.
As many company cyberattacks are attributed to human error, using options like secure networking solutions takes this responsibility off of salespeoples’ plates, and instead bakes cybersecurity measures into their online activity.
Advanced Communication Tools
Although artificial intelligence (AI) isn’t new to sales professionals, it’s capabilities are continuously advancing, and it continues to gain momentum in the sales field. For example, AI-powered assistants, often also called chatbots, can help a sales team make data-backed decisions and improve its business predictions.
These sales-focused chabots can also play a role in building products for upselling and cross-selling by providing the sales team with relevant product recommendations. In addition, chatbots on web pages have become a common occurrence. They can collect the demographic information of an inbound lead like name, contact number, and email ID and help in the creation of a personalized sales strategy for the lead captured. It can also be used to respond to the website’s FAQs, thus saving valuable time for busy sales professionals.
AR and VR-Supported Devices
Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) continue to make leaps in providing customers with direct, personal experiences. AR adds digital elements to a live view often by using the camera on a smartphone, whereas VR implies a complete immersion experience that shuts out the physical world.
AR and VR technologies are significant for companies that depend on the visual impact to propel sales growth, especially while conducting operations remotely. Considering shifting consumer preferences and the online presence of most companies, AR solutions are quickly gaining traction—the augmented reality market is expected to generate up to $75 billion in revenue by 2023.
Although these technologies are still relatively new to the sales discipline, they offer numerous opportunities in product demonstrations, advertising campaigns, customer experiences, and internal team gamification.
As the future points to evolving consumer demands, it is fundamental that your team is up to speed with the latest technology. Thus, for companies whose top priority is to meet customer expectations, embracing and integrating emerging sales technology into business processes is critical. These five emerging technologies are the driving force that can result in your sales team being able to close more deals and pave the way for a profitable future.