So far, 2020 has proved to be a year of almost unprecedented uncertainty, both in terms of the economy and the world at large. And while some firms have been able to profit off of this uncertainty, the unusual nature of the situation has made it exceedingly difficult for sales teams around the world to deliver top performance.
As things start to stabilize and the economic picture becomes a little clearer, many sales professionals are looking at the final quarter of the year as a way of recouping some of their losses. Doing so, however, will mean boosting productivity far above what it was before the recession hit.
Perhaps it isn’t surprising, then, that sales managers are trying to leverage technology to make their processes more streamlined and their teams more efficient and effective.
Make the Minutes Count
Salespeople are skilled workers who have learned, through training and experience, how to develop a rapport with prospective clients, gain their trust, and convince them of the value of the products or services they are selling. Sales is an art, and like any artist, a salesperson’s time is a valuable commodity. Any company that wants its sales team to excel needs to be focused on using this time as effectively as possible.
Unfortunately, it is still very common for salespeople’s skills to be undervalued — people with years of real-world experience cultivating relationships over the phone, meeting with potential customers, and closing sales are often still expected to spend hours cycling through useless numbers or chasing down stale leads.
Success in business has always required companies to be strategic about their resources so that time and talent are not wasted, and for the modern-day sales team, it is no different: making every minute count is key to getting the most out of your sales team.
That’s why the most successful sales teams are applying science to their art and adopting tech tools that can help them automate parts of the sales process, prioritize the best leads, and measure productivity over time to identify weaknesses and address underperformance issues.
Sales Engagement Platforms Provide Twenty-First Century Tools
The past two decades have seen an explosion in specialized software platforms specifically designed to help particular industries stay on top of their tasks, generate new business, and track productivity. Sales is no different, and sales engagement platforms have become one of the modern sales team’s essential tools.
For example, many sales teams have started using platforms like Vanillasoft.com that bundle together a wide range of tools and resources to empower the whole team and achieve better numbers. Here are just a few of the features these kinds of platforms include:
- Auto Dialing: Creating a more efficient sales team is all about cutting out unnecessary tasks like manually dialing numbers. Auto dialing software ensures that as soon as one call is finished, the next is automatically dialed, reducing downtime between calls and improving workflow.
- Lead Management: Leads are the lifeblood of a modern sales operation, but in order to be valuable, leads need to be followed up quickly. Lead management software ensures that leads don’t fall through the cracks and helps sales reps know which lead to follow-up on next.
- Scripting: While they aren’t as popular as they used to be, there is plenty of evidence showing that sales scripts can work if they are well-written. Scripting software helps sales managers develop scripts that will actually give salespeople the tools they need to get through to prospective clients and close sales.
- Appointment-Setting: A good meeting can make the difference between failure and success, so setting up appointments is a crucial part of the sales process. Appointment-setting software takes a lot of the guesswork out of the process, maximizing the efficient use of a rep’s time and ensuring that automatic reminders will be sent to the prospective client.
- Lead and Sales Tracking: Perhaps the most important thing a sales engagement platform offers, however, is the ability to gather data on performance. If you want to improve, you need to measure your progress, and lead and sales tracking software help managers see how many leads are turning into sales, and where reps are struggling to meet targets.
Unsurprisingly, by streamlining the sales process and making it possible to track every step of the way, these platforms have become the essential tech tool for sales teams in 2020.
A Revolution in Efficiency and Service
At the end of the day, businesses and individuals are still buying products and services, and that means there is still a demand for skilled, experienced salespeople. Despite all the uncertainty of the current economic moment, one thing is clear: the sales professionals who survive this downturn will be the ones who are flexible and adaptive, more efficient, and able to offer better service.
But this isn’t just about salespeople being willing to put in more hours and work harder. In the current climate, it is just as important to work smart and leverage all the tools available at one’s disposal to deliver real results.
In recent decades, technology has transformed just about every industry in the economy, and sales is no different; but the sales teams that will come out of 2020 on top are those that don’t just adapt to technology as it reshapes the workplace, but actively get ahead of the curve and harness the latest software to get an edge.
The art of sales is what it has always been: convincing prospective clients and customers of the value of your services and products. But how that art is practiced, and the tools that practitioners have at their disposal, have changed dramatically.
Sales teams with an eye on the future are already figuring out how to incorporate these powerful new platforms into their day-to-day procedures so they can follow up on better leads, faster, and with better results. Teams that aren’t proactive about embracing this software will be forced to work harder and put in more hours for diminishing returns.