How Sales Can Make the Most of IT Trends
Posted by Erica Bell on July 18, 2013 in Business Technology, Sales 2.0 [ 2 Comments ]
We hear it all the time, marketing and sales need to align, and often times when they do, businesses see greater success. Because today’s businesses are so data driven, marketing isn’t the only other department you need to align with your sales team. The data collected by your tech team can help make your sales team more efficient, more personal, and more successful when it comes to closing deals. Sales teams that harness the power provided by the technology your business currently uses will find that they are able to improve their business results. Here are a few tips to help you get started aligning sales and IT.
Big data is the talk of the IT town. That’s no surprise. Small businesses and large businesses alike are using the wealth of both internal and external data to find trends, pain points and areas of success. Big data is often tied to marketing tactics, but sales teams can also use the information your business has readily available to be more successful. Often times, salespeople have a number of calls that need to be made as their daily targets, but a more data-driven, intelligent approach could increase their chances of closing with a prospect.
- SMB Tip: Your sales staff needs to team up with IT to use predictive analytics find which prospective net-new customers should be called and which accounts are most likely to buy next based off past purchase and response behavior to improve win rates.
While some companies have gotten onboard with automation for their inbound and outbound call centers, some are still falling short. Automation, whether it’s via a virtual assistant or your CRM solution, can help your sales team be more efficient. Your technology team is all about automation – how can we make things run smoother, auto-check for errors, and keep our site running, even when we aren’t in the office? Sales force automation (abbreviated SFA) techniques involve using software to automate the tasks of sales, including contact management, information sharing, CRM and performance evaluation. Automation is a long-standing trend for IT teams and it’s time it became
- SMB Tip: CRM and SFA are often used interchangeably, but CRM doesn’t imply automation of sales tasks. As you evaluate CRM solutions, make sure you spend time looking into whether or not there are automation features to help your sales team.
For those who are unaware of what gamification means, it’s often categorized as the use of gaming mentality and mechanics in a non-game situation to engage users and solve problems. In a Deloitte white paper, Gabe Ziherman explains that currently “gamification has specific uses, such as for help desk or sales process enablement,” but that gamification’s full potential hasn’t been reached. The solutions currently available are evolving, but if your business is able to embrace the concept now, you’ll be a step ahead of competition in the future. If you’re unsure how gamification actually works, conduct some research into the different types of gamification and look into what other businesses like yours are doing for ideas within your budget.
- SMB Tip: One of the most important things to consider is potential users and their use cases. Then, make sure you understand their progress paths so you can define what makes each individual a star performer. Focusing on engagement is also a must!
Sales and marketing alignment is a hot topic, but sales and IT alignment isn’t something that should be ignored. Get your sales managers and CTO together to figure out how IT can better help sales boost your bottom line.