3 Technologies Driving the New Sales Force
2015 will be the year that transforms the daily activity of the sales rep. The coming of age of support technologies, built on big data analytics and social networks will profoundly affect the day-to-day focus of sales organizations. Many of the tedious tasks that sales reps are inundated with (especially regarding lead management and prioritization) will become automated, allowing reps to focus more on customer needs and engagement.
This renovation of traditional sales tactics will require an investment of time and money, but the impacts of these innovations will be felt throughout the business, ultimately increasing productivity and revenue. There are three main areas where forward-thinking sales organizations will see the greatest change:
1. Software Coaches Your Team to Success With Automated Advice
Sales technologies will no longer be so heavily focused on delivering insight to the sales manager to help them gauge their team’s performance and metrics. Rather, these solutions will shift their focus to benefit the individual sales rep, delivering automated coaching to identify which leads to follow up with, the ideal time to reach out and best practices for engagement. Sales reps have been mostly unimpressed with automated coaching so far, but with more recent advances in machine-learning technologies and algorithms, the recommendations have started to show their value by driving enhanced productivity as well as greater conversion rates.
This can be greatly attributed to the maturing of the collection of big data and analytics. These advances have enabled data-driven answers to be delivered seamlessly, and at a more granular level, targeting the individual. Sales reps will now be equipped with detailed, actionable data in real time, allowing sales managers to focus more on teaching the technique of selling rather than communicating or policing sales processes.
2. Social Networks Transform the Way Sales Organizations Distribute Leads
Social networks have proven to be quite impactful for many businesses, as increasingly more people become ‘connected.’ As such, sales organizations will begin to leverage new sources of personal data to enhance sales. Social media is already being leveraged by sales teams to find new prospects. In fact, current studies indicate that 92% of companies are using social media to identify leads. Additionally, sales reps are being supplied with a host of information harvested by advanced information aggregation tools.
Social information has the potential to completely alter the traditional method of distributing leads based on geography, and instead leverage the power of relationships. New technologies will assign leads to reps based on social proximity to help connect buyers and sellers through common networks, enabling a ‘warm’ connection from the start. Marketing automation platforms will deliver additional information that monitors buyer behaviors and demographics to supply sellers with a better understanding of their leads’ wants and needs.
3. Widespread Adoption of Sales Acceleration Technology
Marketing automation has served marketers well, providing strong, consistent processes for generating leads, and an abundance of information allowing marketers to appropriately nurture leads until they are ready to be handled by a salesperson. Unfortunately, when that lead is handed over to the sales team much of that automated handling and actionable data goes by the wayside or is ignored. This is where sales technologies will thrive as a natural and necessary progression from marketing automation in the year to come. The massive new ecosystem of sales acceleration and enablement technologies will completely disrupt the industry, leading to the greatest transformation in decades for sales organizations.
The era of cold calling will come to a close, making way for a radical new approach to selling. Sales teams will be more productive, more focused, and better organized to meet the demands of inquiring buyers. . With the advances in sales technology arriving in 2015, we will see companies from a wide range of industries, especially in the B2B realm, transform the way their sales teams operate.
Nick Hedges is the president and CEO of Los Angles-based Velocify and a 15 year veteran of the Internet and software as a service (SaaS) industry. Nick has spent the last seven years at Velocify helping organizations accelerate sales performance and is a widely-recognized thought leader with respect to technology’s transforming impact on the sales profession. For more on Nick visit http://velocify.com/company/leadership/ and follow him on Twitter @Nick_Hedges.