With the economy still on shaky ground, salespeople are turning to deals and discounts to get signatures. But there’s a way to boost sales without sacrificing a slice of your revenue: technology.
While software has been an important sales tool for decades, now is the time to optimize your workflows with it. Leave no step on your sales process unturned. Here are six ways to use tech to increase your sales velocity:
How much time do you spend trying to figure out which prospects have seen your emails and which haven’t? Stop wasting time on guesswork. Use email tracking to see who’s opened, clicked on, or downloaded attachments from your messages.
Your time is much better spent following up with leads who actually open your emails. And if you see one of them is actually clicking on what you send, you know to throw in a link to a product or landing page.
Email tracking is also a great way to document communication between you and specific customers. You can easily look back to see when you last checked in with a new account, for example. Having that information at your fingertips can improve not just sales, but your customer experience.
Customer Resource Management
Storing all the information about your customers in one place makes interactions that much easier. Implementing a customer resource management system (CRM) is a relatively easy way to boost sales indirectly.
Benjamin Franklin was right when he said, “For every minute spent in organizing, an hour is earned.” By getting your ducks in a row with existing customers, you create more time to focus on selling new ones.
What’s more, using a CRM is a great way to see who your “usual” customer is. By looking at existing customer behavior, you gain insight into how to pursue each sale with more precision.
Another way to use tech to better engage with customers is through videoconferencing. While video meetings have become quite popular within the workplace, they’re underutilized by salespeople connecting with leads.
Most email services now have built-in videoconferencing abilities. There’s no reason not to use them. Leads may cloak tones and expressions in an email or phone call, which are hard to hide in a video meeting. Those cues can signal how comfortable a lead is with what a salesperson is proposing.
By getting a better read on leads’ body language, salespeople can make better judgments on how to approach a sale. And by seeing each other’s faces, they’re better able to build trust. Developing trust with prospects is part and parcel of making sales.
Voice Search Optimization
The first and most important step in making a sale is presenting yourself where your leads are looking for answers. As online search grows and changes, so must your optimization efforts.
According to Google, more than a quarter of consumers worldwide are now using voice search on their mobile devices. Two-thirds of them contact companies directly through those search results. Untold more reach out after doing a little more research.
Sit down with your SEO team to make sure you aren’t losing potential customers due to poor voice search optimization. An easy way to do this is to fill your company’s site with phrasings your customers use related to your product or service. The more you can reflect what they’re asking for, the more likely you’ll be to pop up in their verbal queries.
Making sales is about connecting meaningfully and emotionally with your prospects. The trouble is, sales involves a lot of tedious, repetitive work.
Remove those barriers to sales by using tech to automate processes that don’t require the human touch. While every company’s sales workflow is a bit different, there are a few common places to look for automation opportunities.
Take contract signing. An electronic signature software can minimize the email back-and-forth — or, heaven forbid, physical mailings — required to get a signature.
Another good sales automation opportunity is lead tracking. While it might take some setup time, software can use signals like downloading a whitepaper to determine how warm a lead actually is. That way, you know at a glance where each prospect is in your pipeline.
A final one is data entry. Some sales tools can pre-populate fields like a lead’s location, company, and role. The less time you have to spend hunting down those details, the better.
Learning Management Systems
The more knowledgeable your sales team is, the more likely they are to convert leads to customers. Rather than relying on quarterly or annual training, consider implementing a learning management system (LMS). These systems let your salespeople access training materials at any time, from any location.
Your salespeople can use an LMS for more than learning new skills. They can stay up to date on industry trends, including new sales tech, and internal workflow changes.
With an LMS, you need to decide just how much time you want to invest in the content. You could populate it with pre-built lessons, but there’s a trade-off: You’ll save time, but your salespeople may not get as much out of one-size-fits-all sales videos.
The same is true of the other side of the coin. You could film every training video yourself, but customizing every last word to your team may not be necessary.
When in doubt, strike a balance. You might link to Mark Cuban’s cold-pitching tutorial, but you may want to talk through your own system for categorizing a lead. The possibilities of what to include in your LMS are endless and can be customized based on what your team needs.
The sales industry is no stranger to tech. However, it has a bad habit of relying on the tech that has always worked instead of trying new things.
Don’t do what you’ve been doing just because change is scary. Always be on the lookout for tools that can help your salespeople work more efficiently. They’ll not only appreciate it, but they’ll see the difference in their sales volumes.