“Sales are contingent upon the attitude of the salesman—not the attitude of the prospect.” –Clement Stone
There has never been any doubt that technological innovations and unique advancements have transformed the world. In the same vein, many professions and careers have benefited largely from it. Today, professionals from all over the globe and in whatever industry they may be in are afforded the conveniences that were either neither available nor possible before. Because of the developments made in technology, professionals are given more and better avenues for furthering their careers. Seeing as technological change would impact every profession, it is inevitable for the sales force to become affected by it. In fact, its impact on the sales world has been particularly dramatic that if your sales team are not exploiting and harnessing these technological capabilities and feats, you are severely lagging behind your competitors. It is only through technological prowess that sales people are able to maximize their reach. Moreover, it can be readily seen how contemporary sellers behave almost nothing like their predecessors did. And why should they? They have new tools at their disposal that would help them perform better and maximize their sales portfolio. Tools such as productivity apps for sales people have influenced and changed the sales industry. However, just because they have new resources does not mean that everything would be a lot easier. Modern sellers have to face new challenges as well which would constrain them to adapt should they wish not only to thrive in their careers, but if they want to survive.
Identifying and overcoming these challenges might be a lot easier if one possessed an awareness of the ways technology has transformed sales. Here are the ways it has transformed sales:
- The ability to find, connect and qualify with prospective buyers all over the world
Back in the day, salespeople would need to take prospects out for coffee or even to dinner in order to establish a professional relationship. Moreover, forming that relationship takes time—and quite a lot of money as well. Today however, with the rise of social media, engagement with prospective clients has been made a lot easier. Social media is an effective means to find, connect and qualify buyers regardless of where they might be situated.
- Ability to create data-backed sales process
Decades ago, people in the sales force largely operated on their own. This means that sales leaders have a vague idea what their top rep did to earn his or her sales. Moreover, the lack of clarity meant it was a lot harder for those who dominated the leaderboard to their peers the ways of their success. Similarly, you can also have ten different people on the same team selling the exact same offer in just ten different ways. Because there was no standard or common model for success, it can be hard to determine which strategy caused the sale and which ones did not. However, advancements in technology has not only addressed this dilemma but refined the technique as well. Sales teams today are more unified and would adopt a common process. CRM allows anyone in the company to see leads, contact history and even see specific accounts. With this type of technology at their disposal, salespeople can now accurately determine which marketing strategies they can employ with their prospects.
- Discover almost any piece of information
With the inception and rise of the internet, researching buyers, sellers and even products can now be achieved through a click of a finger. Before all these, doing so was not only tedious, but time consuming and inefficient as well. Information is readily available for anyone’s perusal online and all a salesperson would really need to possess is a knack for searching skills. Today, prospects can learn about a product without even interacting to a salesperson which mitigates the possibility of scams. However, this also means that the balance of power is tilted significantly in the buyer’s favor. In this regard, salespeople cannot simply recite figures and facts if they wish to remain on top of the game. To stay ahead of the competition, salespeople would need to know a prospect’s specific situation, act as consultants and offer the best advice. However, much like how a prospect can learn about a product without the assistance of a salesperson, reps can also learn about their prospects simply by reading their company websites. By searching for their press releases, browsing their social media profiles and news mentions, they can get a lot of insight about who they are potentially transacting a business with.