Technology to boost sales
By Sreelesh Pillai, General Manager, Freshdesk Australia
Thursday, 25 August, 2016
When it comes to listing the world’s oldest professions, one that rarely gets mentioned, but should, is sales. It has, after all, been an underpinning part of every transaction since humans could talk. It has been around for thousands of years and, in that time, the core functions of what salespeople do has barely changed — we talk, we relate, we transact.
And in many ways, that’s a good thing. We are humans after all, and it’s important to ensure that the humanity in a sales transaction is never lost, no matter how sophisticated it becomes.
However, that doesn’t mean that technology can’t play a significant role in how companies sell their goods and services. The right technology, used in the right way, has the ability to augment the sales experience for the prospective customer and help the business boost revenues.
There are several ways technology can be used to enhance sales through all stages of the process.
Begin the sale the right way
Any company, no matter how good its product is, is only as good as its first experience. Your frontline sales and customer service staff are the first taste prospective customers get of your business, and you need to ensure that it is a positive one.
Technology can help here. Customer relationship management software today presents a customer’s total data, from social profiles to feeds, that make a world of difference in helping salespeople understand the customer and their enquiry better.
It helps greatly when the CRM is also integrated with other business systems, such as billings and helpdesk, so that complete context is provided even before the customer starts speaking to you about their problems, and why they need your product or service.
It’s a simple but vital part of the sales process and one that any company needs to perfect to ensure customers keep coming back.
In many sales processes, the customer is rarely swayed on the first encounter. It can take days, weeks or even months to get a sale across the line, across various touchpoints and through numerous people before a prospective customer actually buys your product or service.
And not every customer appreciates the same touchpoints — everyone is different, after all.
Marketing automation software has become a major industry in recent years for this very reason. By bringing the various siloed marketing and sales tools together in one area, these technologies can make it easier to determine the best time and avenue to approach a prospective customer at each point in the buying journey.
Knowing your customer has visited your pricing page four times in the last two days, for example, would help greatly in deciding when to email or call about discounted pricing to help convert them.
And, of course, tying that information into the rest of your systems can ensure you know whether they’ve contacted you before, and the outcome of that interaction.
Always make them happy
Companies tend to place the friendliest employees in sales and frontline for good reason. Customers know this, and they will judge the rest of the company based on their experience with these employees, right through to whether billing begins breathing down their neck when it comes time to pay up.
That’s why it’s vital that the sales process doesn’t end with the salesperson. Ensuring a customer remains loyal to the company for years or even decades requires the utmost in customer happiness and service at every single touchpoint.
Sales organisations can ensure this is consistently done well by integrating their tools together — their customer relationship management tools, helpdesk and support systems, and marketing software — so they have a single repository not only of prospective customers but existing ones.
This ensures that any information on a customer isn’t siloed, but available at every touchpoint across the business so that any customer can easily continue a conversation across multiple people in the business with ease.
Sales may be an ancient profession but that doesn’t mean technology can’t help bring it into the 21st century. The right technology, in the right place, can help any business improve its sales quickly and smoothly.
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