Businesses are always on the lookout for ways to use technology to solve problems, get more done, and save time. And, while there’s a technology that promises to make almost every area of your business more efficient, productive, and successful, it’s sales tech tools that get the most attention.
Unfortunately, sales teams aren’t always eager to adopt technology. Often, they perceive training and data entry as time that could be better spent closing sales. Or, they feel as if they’re being monitored by “big brother”, and ask, “Who needs that when there are customer relationships to build and nurture?” They believe in the conventional wisdom that “time kills deals,” and that the longer it takes to close a sales deal, the more gets negotiated away. It’s no surprise then that tech usage rates among sales teams have plummeted.
Why would you feed your business’s digital addiction and put more technology between sales and their deal-closing efforts? Because sales enablement technology can augment what sales does best – relationship building.
Technology puts sales teams in their customer’s shoes. This enables deeper, more informed relationships.
Augment sales relationships, don’t replace them
Technology will never take the place of direct customer contact, but it can augment many of those instincts that make a great sales professional – knowing which leads are the best, when to call them, and what to say.
Sales enablement content tools, for example, can provide in-depth insights into a customer’s journey through the sales funnel. Sales reps get notified once a prospect opens an email, clicks a link, opens an attachment, and shares it. They can even help sales teams understand which pages their leads are visiting on their company’s website or personalize marketing efforts through a tool like Demandbase, which allows for more targeted online advertising.
With this insight, sales teams have a view into what their customer’s pain points are, what they respond to, and how they can add value to the conversation. Knowing that a customer has opened a certain piece of content – a data sheet, whitepaper, eBook, and so on – they can have a more informed conversation about their customer’s needs, ask leading questions, and better qualify them.
Technology brings harmony to the sales and marketing relationship
Technology can also de-escalate some of the traditional tension that has existed between sales and marketing. With all of your company’s content in one place, marketing can ensure that the digital assets sales rely on are organized, up-to-date (so no “internal only” documents get shared), and easy to find – freeing time for sales to focus on relationships and move their prospects along the funnel.
With greater insight into what resonates among audiences – from messaging to product features – and which fall flat, technology gives marketers and product teams alike increased visibility into what the customer really wants, allowing them to deliver solutions that are more likely to sell. For example, product teams can better understand which features are truly resonating with customers, and can design their products accordingly. This can help move the needle for sales teams.
With these tools, sales and/or marketing can also send automated, personalized emails so that they can be sure the right content is being sent, to the right customer, at the right time. Both teams can ensure that every message that is sent is consistent with the company brand and helps to shape the customer’s experience.
A more customer-centric way to close the deal
Rather than disrupt relationship-based selling, think of technology instead as enabling deeper, more informed relationships that put sales teams in their customer’s shoes, automate manual processes, and deliver greater intelligence to support their conversations. It does not get in the way of “game hunting” or “farming” for sales leads. Indeed, incorporating sales enablement technology into your company’s optimized tech stack can lead to improved sales prospects and closer customer relationships.
Need a little inspiration for organizing your tech stack, check out these examples of tech stacks assembled by leading sales organizations.