We were at a clients place last week and the main topic of discussion was about digitally transforming their sales team. The majority of the audience were members of the sales team and they did not seem too happy with the whole idea. We sensed this and asked them what they had thought about the whole plan. The majority of them felt that this was an exercise that was carried out to closely monitor them and all their activities.
Though this was far from the truth, it was not surprising that they had felt this way. In fact, many a time, most salespeople feel the same way when some systems are put in place. The idea of putting systems in place is not to micromanage the team. It is all about increasing productivity and improving efficiency. We had to take some time and explain this concept to the team. Ultimately, if the team is worried about systems being put in place, then the adoption rate is definitely going to be very low and eventually, regardless how good the system is, the initiative would be a failure solely because of the lack of buy-in. Therefore, educating the team on the benefits has got to happen as early as day one.
Digitally transforming your sales force has tremendous benefits. Not only does it make the life of a salesperson easier, the automation part ensures that your prospects’ needs are immediately attended to and you would never ever leave them out to dry. Instantaneous responses to automatic workflows kicking in take’s this arduous task off the shoulders of the salesperson. Quicker responses make the prospect feel special. That in itself creates a deep-rooted bond between the prospect and the salesperson. These minute and simple things are often ignored by most people not knowing the psychological impact that it could have on building brand loyalty which invariably leads to customer retention.
Having your entire database of customers with all touch points at your fingertips is another huge advantage. Typically a salesperson would have to deal with so many customers if not hundreds and most often, it is very difficult to remember all past interactions. With the internet and mobile technologies, this is now made possible. Salespeople would be able to login to systems and see all previous touchpoints with a particular prospect. Memories would be refreshed and salespeople can now walk into meetings feeling more confident and do just the right thing to close sales faster. These gaps could never have been addressed in the past but today, we are able to do all these wonderful things solely because of technology.
With the capability to generate a multitude of reports, the salesperson’s judgment is made better as he now has meaningful information and just not bits and pieces of raw data. He is now able to strategize each and every move to move deals faster along the pipeline. Not only this, the level of automation had gone beyond the conventional sales process so much so, quotations, invoices etc and now easily generated on the fly instead of the tedious process of having got to send requisitions to the Finance Department.
The above are just a handful of benefits that a salesperson would enjoy with sales force automation. In the weeks to come, we would be sharing more on the same. In fact, we would also look at how digital transformation can assist Sales Managers in managing their teams more effectively and efficiently. Till we meet again with a new blog post, here’s wishing all of you a blissful weekend!