The profile of the top ranking sales people is changing, and is changing fast creating an army of multifaceted individuals that are redefining the rules of business. The sales team, the first touch point between a buyer and a retailer and the one that plays a pivotal role in the success of business, is one of the most essential elements that build the success story of an organization.
A clear and well-defined sales strategy supported by an inspiring sales mission goes a long way in appealing to and holding on to highly talented salespeople. With change being the only constant, technology is challenging and transforming the entire business gamut and the sales talent too is evolving at a rapid pace. With the evolution of the Internet, the sea of prospects for sales professional has become cosmic. Changing and evolving tech techniques like big data and analytics has armed the sales teams to further segment the clients into precise customer profile and make the right pitch. This has further aided reduction in the time taken for conversion of leads into business, taking the growth chart further north.
Age of buyer empowerment
What has also evolved is the customer himself who is much better informed and attuned with technology. The convergence of various innovations including mobile and cloud technology, social media, and big data innovations has brought in an era of buyer empowerment. Today's tech-enabled customers, with access to a wider range of information sources are better enlightened about solutions than ever. Moreover, most customer groups prefer to perform their own enquiry using various online tools and by interacting with similar user groups through social media channels. This enables and empowers a customer in the actual buying process even before a sales representative enters the picture.
The age of buyer empowerment and this knowledge explosion has made the sales teams take serious note of this transformed customer behavior, albeit not at the desired pace. The empowered customer expects sales teams to understand their domain dynamics and major challenges and opportunities that they and their competitors are facing. Sharing generic product and service information is a complete no-no if one intends to gauge customer attention and interest.
Digitally empowered sales leaders
With such fast paced evolution all across, gone are the days of folders and colorful leaflets and brochures being carried around by sales representatives to elucidate buyers about their products and services. The advent of digital marketing has completely transformed the way sales and marketing functions with organizations arming their sales force with new age tools and techniques to make quick decisions and close more deals. Technology proliferation has enabled organizations to improve employee productivity and accelerate business growth.
The presence of numerous touch points these days has made selling evolve from being personal to become even more personalized. With information being disseminated at a lightening pace, the pace of relationship building too has transformed. And to keep pace with these changes, it is pertinent that a sales person understands the marketing objective of the client. Sales is not only about selling, it’s about constant and persistent understanding of the clients needs.
Technology evolution has reduced the leg work/ face to face interaction of sales representatives by increasing access to relevant information and taking charge of the back-end tasks, however, the orientation, skill and intelligence on how to leverage and apply this in the best possible manner, is still required to be acquired by them.
- Sales reps need to leverage new age technology tools in order to keep abreast of the developments. Eg., use smart database access platforms to create pre-profiled organizational map by leveraging automated information access through social media, association websites, events, blogs etc.
- Use technology platforms that provide effective Account Management solutions by keeping track of influencers/ decision makers in target organizations and connecting with them with desired information/ solution more effectively.
- Leverage technology enabled sourcing tools to keep track of customer requirements.
- Leveraging GPS/GPRS enabled Sales force automation tools to have real-time access to information and submission of information to enable quicker turnaround time on field actionable.
- Leverage Marketing automation platforms to help create relevant leads and lead nurturing services to effectively convert a suspect into a qualified prospect
- Leveraging tele-based CRM platforms such as DenCRM to convert marketing generated opportunities (MGOs) into sales wins.
Using technology in improving customer targeting and effective marketing, a successful sales professional knows their target accomplishment and plan their approach accordingly. Their attitude makes them stand apart from the rest. Persistence pays and that’s what a successful sales team and individual follow. They possess natural attributes of communication and perseverance. They are tenacious and they refuse to give up and constantly look for new solutions.
Hitting the right chord
The quality of an evolving sales person includes acceptance of various scenarios and evolving with and adapting to change, further building their skill-sets and expertise. Being research savvy and using the Internet to the fullest has become the norm as it has become the largest source of sales data in the world. Now a days none of the sales force work with visiting card bibles and burgeoning database. Times are changing and even the manual entry into the CRM tools have become passé. Automatic updates on the CRM are the norm and a key quality that segregates top performing salespeople from the rest of the deck.
While technology is definitely transforming the nature of doing business and creating numerous touch points, what’s also essential is to maintain certain interpersonal skills to further leverage the tech advantage. Being a good listener will help the sales force to hit the right need with the right pitch and get the maximum business convergence.
Finally, as organizations look to adopt game changing technology across functions, it still remains a challenge to train the workforce in identifying the best tools and techniques to garner maximum growth for them and for the organization as a whole. The new-age sales force needs to move fast enough to adopt this change and move ahead of the times. Persistent communication using a mix of traditional and new age communication is the key to attain the desired result and garner maximum output.