New age technologies and especially mobile technologies have changed the buying behavior of the consumers, giving them greater access to a vast array of information from suppliers, comparison websites and social networks, and enabling them to make informed purchase decisions. Studies show that in the era of the mobile, consumers generally complete 75% of their purchase journey before engaging directly with a salesperson. It is little wonder then sales tool enablement is amongst the fastest growing functions in organizations today. The CSO Insights 2017 Sales Enablement Optimization Study finds that 59.2% of organizations now have sales enablement in place, compared with just 19.3 percent of organizations in 2013 and this number continues to grow.
If your sales team is yet to evaluate new-age technologies, this article provides insights into how digital technology is currently driving this evolution.
Digital Content Solutions
According to the Digital in 2017 Global Overview report, more than half of the population worldwide uses the Internet. Given that most people are today using social media, especially on their mobile phones, to share views, reviews and feedback, organizations need to build a strong presence using digital content to educate and open conversations about their products and services to directly engage with both existing and potential clients. Another research from CSO Insights shows that industry-leading organizations that have already implemented social selling as part of their larger social agenda outperform all others by 21 percent and are two years ahead of average performers when it comes to adopting and seeing the value in social selling. Apart from social selling, organizations are also leveraging digital technology to streamline their content management solutions to make a sales pitch and also measure, track and analyze content effectiveness in their sales process.
Research shows that sales people spend only about 22% of their time on selling activities – the rest is generally spent on pre- and post-sales, and other administrative tasks. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is fast emerging as an effective solution to automate many of the repetitive administrative processes and other such tasks that can be performed without human involvement. AI also helps to minimize human errors and ensure more effective and transparent customer service. More and more organizations are using AI in their customer-facing functions, especially as the means to drive greater personalization across touch points.
Sales Simulations to Assist Learning and Training
New age sales enablement tools are also helping organizations go beyond the traditional classroom to improve training and provide crucial information to their sales team while on the job. For example, business simulations, or imitations of real-world sales setting are increasingly being used to hone employee skills in decision making, strategic thinking, problem solving, market analysis, teamwork and leadership, operations, and financial analysis. Since the sales simulations resemble the real marketplace, the company benefits from allowing its sales personnel from making and learning from their mistakes in the virtual world, rather than making them in actual situations, thus costing it dearly in terms of money and reputation. Employees trained extensively in the virtual world to avoid traps and pick up sales tips are less likely to fail in the real world.
Advances in technology have made customer the centre of a sales experience. Empowered by new age tools, customers are today demanding personalized, on-time services and transparency in the entire supply chain to make sure that the products they purchase are ethically sourced. In this new environment, businesses have to redefine their functions to remain competitive. Adopting new age sales tools and techniques can help companies to boost sales effectiveness, enhance learning and improve the overall customer experience.