New Tools, Better Sellers
Salespeople constantly adopt new technologies to make sales more strategic and efficient. These technological developments disrupt the sales system and equip sales reps with more tools to best optimize their performance. Currently, modern sales technology continues to change every stage of the sales process and the way reps engage with customers.
Yet, this isn’t a new concept. Here's an example: the invention of the telephone in 1876 along with an ancient manuscript, the phone book, created telemarketing, the most revolutionary sales process of the time. However, cold calling is now an outdated concept. Younger generations tend to ignore calls from unknown numbers and no longer use voicemail. Even further, governments have extensively started to regulate cold calls. For example, the US Federal Trade Commission created the "Do Not Call Registry" to restrict unwanted calls from cold calling systems. From the invention of the printing press to modern data analytics, it's important to remember past developments so that we can successfully prepare for the future of sales technology.
Check out this handy timeline mapping the evolution of sales technology:
What is the point of this extensive infographic (aside from allowing me to exhaust my inner history geek)? New sales technology is always building upon existing innovations. As shown above, past inventors laid the foundation for today's developments. Sales reps are no longer going door-to-door but using mobile devices and cloud based technology to make more sales in less time. Gordon Matthews, inventor of the voicemail, once said, “I owe my success to Alexander Graham Bell for inventing the telephone, what a cool dude,” or something of that sorts. These tools were designed to help sales people be more organized and productive in today’s fast paced world.
The Future of Sales Technology
Looking into the future, salespeople need to embrace new sales technologies so they can maintain strategic growth and guarantee success. Gartner Inc., the world’s leading research and advisory company, created a useful list of top technology trends for strategic business growth in 2017. Some of these trends have a notable impact on the current state of sales technology:
- Mobile devices and computing software:
With the rapid spread of mobile technology, salespeople and their customers can reach each other at anytime from anywhere. Using mobile platforms, sales reps can have instant access to customer information and new opportunities on the go. Whether in or out of the office, reps stay consistently responsive and competitive.
- Advanced analytical systems with big data technology:
Analytics systems help salespeople qualify leads so they focus their efforts on the most promising and valuable customers. The ability to manage and analyze amounts of data about customer behavior is a huge competitive advantage for sale organizations. In addition, analytics software can also segment your customers and promote effective marketing tactics.
- Social technology and platforms:
Social media platforms help drive a customer into the sales funnel. Sites like Facebook and Twitter allow sales reps to research a market, identify their needs, and initiate conversations with customers.
- Cloud computing and CRM technology:
Customer Relationship Management software allows organizations to strategically manage, consolidate, and analyze a customer’s lifecycle in a single database. With cloud based CRM tools, sales reps access real-time customer information at any time on the go.
A Growing Divide Between Old and New
Technology is changing the sales game. A company's ability to use new tools and software is now a necessity to run a competitive business. Organizations need to be willing to adopt the latest technological developments or they risk being left behind.
Fortunately, future generations of salespeople will be far more versed and comfortable using modern technology. By 2020, millennials will account for roughly half of the US workforce. At the same time, companies plan to increase hiring in their sales department by 36%. Millennials are entering the sales field in record numbers as a generation capable of handling large volumes of information and adapting quickly to new sales techniques. On that note, it’s time to step up your recruiting, embrace sales technology, and realize it’s leading to more productive sales and increased revenues (and isn’t that what we all want these days?) Welcome to the future of sales!