The global Sales Management Association recently found that investing in sales technology to reduce administrative tasks is a top priority for organisations over the next 18 months. This is likely because everyone in the industry can agree that actually finding time to SELL can be dramatically undermined by countless non-revenue-producing activities like writing thank you notes, tracking leads and tracking down the right power point deck.
Below are 7 tech tips that can help sales teams get back those hours in their day, boost productivity, and ultimately, increase sales.
1. Invest in analytics: Gartner recently compiled a list of top strategic technology trends, and one theme to emerge was advanced, pervasive, invisible analytics. For sales teams, layering analytics on top of linked data on customers, sales activities, and salespeople, companies can deliver the right decision assistance to the right salespeople and customers at the right time.
2. Put down the pen: Eliminate the hours (not to mention hand cramps) spent handwriting client thank you notes, holiday cards or lead generations by letting a tool like Handwrytten do the work. The company uses robotic handwriting machines that use a real pen to write out your personalised messages, preserving the personal touch, but with the efficiency of modern technology. The app and web resource allows you to save template messages and copies of all correspondence and provides an option to include gift cards. They even take out the trip to the mailbox.
3. Track leads via the Cloud: This is a no-brainer. Attaining leads, storing customer information and assigning follow-up via a strong cloud-based platform will save hours, and seamlessly keep up with ever-changing sales force and customer needs. Salesforce is a great option as many apps can integrate with the software.
4. Team up with virtual sales agents: How much time do you or your reps currently waste deciding who to call (and then again by connecting with the wrong person once they do)? Services like ConnectAndSell help solve cold-calling issues by opening a conference line and dialing for you - only connecting when there is a decision maker on the other line. Velocify helps reps more quickly decide who (and when) to call next by sorting and continually re-ranking the call lists based on a variety of criteria.
5. Intersect leads at key points: Using software like Marketo automates sales emails, sending specific, relevant notes during key points in the sales process, making sure you don't miss an optimal time to connect with a prospects or customers.
6. Always be prepared: Ever found yourself wishing you had your sales deck on you, only to realise it's saved on a jump drive back at the office? Use apps like Apple's Keynote or Google Slides to make sure you're never left empty-handed when opportunity knocks.
7. Desk share with Nespresso: Okay fine - the suggestion to upgrade to a speedy single-serve coffee machine may not include a high-tech solution - but you'll be shocked how much time is saved by eliminating trips to the communal kitchen (or worse, waiting on the ancient drip coffee machine to finish the brew). Without the excuse to leave your desk during a dedicated hour or two of sales calls, you'll find yourself in a great rhythm of closing deals in no time
By David Wachs, founder of Handwrytten