Sales isn’t an easy job. But, can you imagine going through your day without your CRM, your smartphone, and even without your email account?
Today, we take most sales tools and software for granted, yet they have actually been with us for only a few years, and the development of each of them has deeply transformed the way salespeople work.
Are you wondering what specific technologies have revolutionized the field of sales? Check out this video with the innovations that transformed sales!
We no longer consider Microsoft Excel as something exciting or revolutionary, but there’s no doubt this was a huge breakthrough back then. In 1985, Microsoft Excel was launched, enabling people to transfer their manual notes into a spreadsheet and analyze them.
Among many other things, you suddenly were able to sort and filter information, create charts, and run statistics. This dramatically changed how business analyzed and presented data, as it allowed to search and edit information in seconds, as well as displaying it in dashboards.
The launch of personal free web-based email services, like Yahoo! Mail in 1997, changed the way salespeople connect with their customers forever.This opened the possibility of sending direct sales emails, which has actually turned out to be one of the most cost-effective forms of direct sales.
Nowadays, 8 out of 10 prospects prefer to talk via email over any other medium. Thanks, Yahoo!
In 1998, Larry Page and Sergey Brin founded Google with the mission of “organizing the world's information and making it universally accessible and useful.” The possibility to easily search and find everything online turned the balance of power from the salesperson to the buyer. This was a radical change in the way people consume information, and, at the same time, it transformed the purpose and behavior of salespeople.
Salesforce was founded in 1999, with the revolutionary idea that software should be available 24/7 over the cloud. Cloud-based CRM tools like Salesforce allowed salespeople to access real-time information on-the-go to strategically manage, store, and analyze their customer’s data in a single database.
Salesforce’s progressive concept radically changed how salespeople keep track of their customer’s information.
In 2000, the first smartphones were released, shifting the sales process like never before.
Smartphones enabled salespeople to easily access their email, manage their calendar and address book, take notes, read news, and navigate the internet - all from a single portable device. Smartphones also allowed salespeople and their customers to connect with each other at anytime from anywhere.
Personal GPS navigation products
Personal GPS navigation products had a particularly strong impact on the outside sales world. Although millennials associate GPS products with smartphone apps, they were first released in 2001 as in-car navigation devices. This early devices helped reps finding the correct address in seconds, as well as getting rid of the always confusing paper maps.
Fun fact: Nowadays in-car navigation products continue to save storage space. It’s no longer about the space filled with paper maps in your car, but about the storage space in your smartphone, as you need at least 4.5 GB to download the entire map of the U.S.A.!
In 2002, LinkedIn was founded with the objective of “connecting the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful.” It has certainly accomplished its mission as it now has over 610 million members and is responsible for 80% of B2B leads from social media.
Salespeople can find qualified leads within LinkedIn by searching by industry, job position, and even location, and what is more, they can also contact them directly without struggling to find their contact information elsewhere. LinkedIn has completely transformed the way salespeople find and connect with their customers and prospects.
Founded in 2004, Facebook has become an integral part of many salespeople’s online presence. Facebook allows salespeople to research a market, identify their needs, and initiate conversations with customers, helping to drive a customer down the sales funnel.
As a matter of fact, 78% of social sellers outsell peers who don’t use social media.
Google Maps was founded in 2005, and it’s now one of the best apps for navigational mapping. It’s incredibly user-friendly and efficient, and finds the best and fastest route to get from point A to point B, providing great turn-by-turn directions.
Although Google Maps can’t provide the fastest route for multiple stops, most field salespeople would literally be lost without using online maps.
Founded in 2006, Twitter has become a heaven for prospecting and social selling. With 330 million monthly active users, it’s an essential platform to network and engage with prospects. For salespeople, the rise of social media meant to move on from traditional selling, and start taking advantage of the customer information and possibilities that are now available on social channels.
In 2007, the first iPhone was released, setting an entirely new paradigm for computer-based phones. Some of its groundbreaking features were the innovative touchscreen-centric design, and a mobile browser that loaded full websites, much like what’s experienced on PCs. Up to then, smartphones were targeted towards businesspeople. However, the iPhone’s multimedia features enabled users to play games, watch movies, chat, and share content, reshaping people’s relationship with smartphones. This opened an entire world of new possibilities for salespeople.
In 2008, Waze was founded with the mission to “help people create local driving communities that work together to improve the quality of everyone's daily driving,” which basically means outsmart every day traffic.
Waze uses live feedback produced by its users to generate real-time traffic reports, and create the fastest route. This was a huge innovation for salespeople as it ended with the uncertainty of traffic jams.
Founded in 2012, Badger Maps is the ultimate mapping and routing tool for field salespeople The app empowers salespeople to optimize their daily routes to customers in an easy and quick way, taking into account real-time traffic, allowing multiple stops, and enabling calendar sync. Reps can take notes on-the-go and have all their info sync with their CRM automatically, providing real-time updates.
With this automation, salespeople can take back 8 hours a week, as the app takes care of all the tedious planning and admin work.
Badger Maps increases sales by 25% and cuts down driving time by 20%. Do you want to sell more too? Start your free trial now!
Modern technology continues to reshape every stage of the sales process and the way salespeople engage with their customers. As technological innovations are constantly making the sales scene evolve, salespeople need to embrace and adopt new sales technologies to optimize their performance and stay at the top of their game.
Are you prepared for what’s next?