What should be the primary occupation of a salesperson? Of course, active sales. Currently, salespeople spend only one-third of their time on sales and customer interaction, and almost 60% of them are afraid that they will not achieve their sales targets for this year. So how to help them? What can be done to automate salespeople’s work and thus give them more time to perform key tasks?

The everyday life of a salesperson – not so great?

It would seem that a salesperson has a clearly defined scope of work. However, the reality is different. Today we are living in a specific era of the customer, whose needs and requirements are set as the highest priorities – both in the B2B and B2C sectors. As the “States of Sales” report shows, as many as 78% of business buyers would like salespeople to act as loyal and competent sellers providing a customized service. On the other hand, 82% of B2B customers expect at least the same level of service quality as for similar B2C purchases. Hypersonalisation of services should be a standard in every company, regardless of the industry.

The changeability of customers’ expectations forces companies to modify their marketing and sales strategies. Sales teams find it harder and harder to meet all requirements, and their productivity and effectiveness are falling dramatically. The main reason? Chronic lack of time. They admit that they devote too much time to administrative matters, such as e-mail communication management, entering sales data and consumer-related notes, or searching for the right people to contact.

 

Watch trends and manage in a responsible manner

Sales has to be seen as a process consisting of several stages. Following the trends of recent years, we can see a high increase in the digitalization of marketing and sales activities in the B2B and B2C sectors. Nevertheless, the basic business rules remain the same – acquire the customer and build good relations with them. As many as 60% of salespeople in the last 3 years have reduced the number of personal meetings with customers in favor of virtual contacts, and the time spent in front of the screen of a computer, smartphone or tablet has increased 3.2-fold.

These developments simply cannot be ignored. An optimally planned and consistently implemented strategy, as well as its successive evaluation, is the first step towards saving the company’s resources. All the departments of the company, including sales teams, should be prudently managed and tasks should be delegated according to skills and competencies. Everyone should focus as much as possible on the assigned tasks and not waste their time on minor issues. This is the first step towards increasing productivity and saving salespeople’s time.

 

Automation as the key to success

For many years there has been a lot of talk about the need to implement technological solutions in the field of sales automation in business. Gartner research company defines SFA (sales force automation) systems as those that support active sales as well as all administrative processes. All over the world, programs and mobile applications are created and complex systems are built, which work best in the following areas:

  • customer care and communication management;
  • management of sales activities;
  • sales forecast;
  • reporting;
  • partner relationship management.

However, awareness among entrepreneurs is still at a relatively low level, so instead of responding creatively to market needs, they are stuck in outdated models and tools. According to Forrester Research, as much as 75% of sales processes are still not automated. In addition, 61% of salespeople need to have access to 4 or more systems that provide them with the information they need to work with.

For fully professional management, a 360-degree customer view is required. This can be achieved by collecting, processing and sharing data from multiple departments. At this point in time, only about 49% of sales teams have access to fully integrated systems, which collect data in such a way that every employee has equal access to them.

 

Look for effective solutions

All these functionalities can be found in individual components of the CRM system, the implementation of which brings measurable benefits to the company, such as a 25% increase in revenue and 26% more successful transactions. One of the biggest innovators on the market is CRM Salesforce, which designed a holistic system based on the integration of all departments responsible for contacts with customers within a single platform. The whole system is extremely complex and, at the same time, as intuitive as possible in everyday use. In addition, you can customize the applications to the current needs of the organization.

A dedicated sales tool is Salesforce Sales Cloud, whose capabilities will release the full potential of your team. The daily work of a salesperson consists not only of performing particular stages of the sales process but also of the repetition of specific actions in a specific order. Thanks to this it is easier to predict the results and organize the next steps on the way to finalizing a transaction with a lead. Developing a sales path and its skillful optimization will not only shorten the sales cycle but also save the time of work of employees, who will act according to the prepared protocol.

Even if the sales process is repetitive, each customer is different – they have different needs, preferences or style of communication and conducting transactions. Properly configured Salesforce Sales Cloud will help you create a personalized path for everyone. Another advantage is the mobility of this tool. Salespeople will have access to all data from wherever they are and on any device – all they need is an Internet connection.

 

Don’t be afraid of innovations

Sales is an endless history of the evolution of phenomena and tools, as well as careful observation and rapid reaction. Solutions based on artificial intelligence (AI) are still an area that many entrepreneurs shun for fear and lack of trust.

But maybe it’s worth looking at them from a different perspective? Especially that most industry leaders are convinced that AI will continue to grow rapidly, and by comprehensive analysis of information and identifying sales opportunities, it will help significantly increase the productivity and efficiency of salespeople. It is estimated that the use of artificial intelligence in sales process management will increase by 155% by 2020.

Salesforce has been developing its proprietary technology – Salesforce Einstein Analytics, which helps retailers improve (and not only) their current performance. Interestingly, the already mentioned report “States of Sales” proves that the implementation by AI companies in the area of trade does not entail any reduction in employment. On the contrary, it stimulates its growth. Over the last two years, on average, employment has grown by 7% while sales have increased by 6%.

 

Summary

The daily work of the sales team is pure multitasking. Sometimes the tasks they perform are not related to their position at all. Fortunately, there are some technological solutions ensuring the optimal automation of tasks. It is these solutions, combined with skillful team management, that will provide more time for key issues. This way, your company will have the chance to develop in a truly harmonious way in every dimension.

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