Technology has transformed our everyday life across the board, especially in the sales industry.
Modern technology has allowed companies and sales representatives to increase their productivity and sales and better assist customers along the way.
The role of technology in modern sales management is a big one. With so many different types of technology that the industry can use and the plethora of benefits, there is almost no way to work in sales without using modern technology in some capacity.
Let’s dive into the role that technology plays in the sales industry.
The Benefits of Using Technology in Sales Management
Almost all companies with a sales department or within the sales industry utilize various sales management technologies and there are several benefits to doing so.
The sky is the limit when it comes to the benefits of using technology in sales management, but there are a few worth noting.
Increased Efficiency and Productivity
A sign of a successful company is efficiency and productivity. As technology advances, there are more ways to achieve this.
Technology allows you to access customer information, employee information, and other reports regarding sales more manageable than ever, which eliminates the need for spending time searching through files, creating manual reports, and tracking down information from specific people.
When you have more time, you will be more productive overall, and your sales team will run more efficiently.
Improved Customer Experience
When you have all your customer information in one place, it can improve the customer experience.
By seeing purchasing trends, customer satisfaction rates, and other analytics, you can help improve the customer experience for all your valued customers.
Enhanced Data Analysis and Reporting
Technology removes the need for old-fashion data analysis and reporting. While there is nothing wrong with that, it can be very time-consuming and leaves more room for human error.
With sales management technology, you can gain access to data analysis and reporting that will help improve the company’s sales, customer satisfaction, and more.
Improved Communication and Collaboration
Lastly, using technology in sales management provides better communication and collaboration among sales team members and their customers.
They will be able to reach customers and respond to them faster with technology and will be able to share ideas with other sales team members in real-time rather than in weekly or monthly meetings.
Common Types of Technology Used in Sales Management
There are many technology options to choose from when it comes to sales management. Many companies implement more than one type to improve efficiency in different areas, while only one might benefit others.
Knowing the different, common types of technology available can help you make the right choice on which one can benefit your company. Let’s highlight a few big ones.
Customer Relationship Management CRM (Systems)
Customer relationship management systems, such as Salesforce.com, are the best tools for sales management needs. These systems are essentially a large customer database. The sales team will be able to keep track of customers’ information and see trends on what they’re buying, when, and what products they’re browsing.
CRM systems also give the sales team easy access to customer information, allowing them to provide better customer service and improve their satisfaction with the company.
Analytics and Reporting Tools
Analytics and reporting tools are one of the best technologies to use in sales management. The sales team will be able to see vital data that can help them see sales trends.
By seeing actual sales insights on trends, they can make adjustments to improve sales and improve upon sales strategies that might not be working as well as others.
Oftentimes, a good CRM will have analytics and reporting built-in but there are several third-party tools that you can use independently or integrate with your CRM for maximum use.
Sales Automation and Workflow Tools
Depending on the types of goods or services a company sells, utilizing sales automation and workflow tools might be beneficial.
Automation can allow for regular emails to be sent out, confirmations of purchases, and promotions that customers might be interested in.
Workflow tools will make life easier for the entire sales team to ensure they have covered all their bases while removing manual work from their daily tasks.
Communication and Collaboration Platforms
One of the most effective ways for a sales team to succeed is by communicating quickly and effectively while collaborating. There are communication and collaboration platforms that sales teams can use.
Some platforms allow them to communicate via an instant messaging method, such as Slack, where they can have group chats and direct messaging. These include ways to contact everyone on the sales team, making communication easier than ever.
Mobile and Cloud Technologies
Mobile and cloud technologies are some of the most utilized options in sales management.
Mobile technologies allow the sales team to use the software on their smartphones and tablets when they’re on the go.
Cloud technologies provide a safe way for companies to store customer and employee information securely, while allowing authorized personnel to be able to easily access said information from any computer with internet access.
Overcoming Challenges in Implementing Technology in Sales Management
Even though implementing technology in sales management has plenty of benefits, it is not always as simple as it seems to implement.
There are a few challenges that a company might experience when implementing technology. They might experience one challenge, a combination of a few, or all of the ones below.
Resistance to Change Among Sales Teams
Change is exciting, but not everyone feels that way. Some people on the sales team, or possibly the whole team, might be reluctant to embrace the change.
When there is resistance to change, it can cause the technology to not be used as it was intended or at all, making it ineffective for sales management.
Finding ways to encourage technology use and showcasing how well it works can help overcome this challenge. In addition, provide ample training and learning opportunities so your sales team feels supported when switching to new technology.
Integration With Existing Systems and Processes
You might be able to find technology that can easily integrate into your existing systems and processes, but sometimes you can’t.
If you are struggling to implement technology with your current system and processes, it can cause more frustration for everyone involved. And when people are frustrated and trying to learn new systems and processes, it can delay sales, decrease customer satisfaction, etc.
The best thing a company can do while integrating sales technology is to come up with a plan on how they will get through the integration period while everyone’s adjusting. Take the integration in steps, focusing on one area of integration at a time, to help your sales team transition smoothly.
Data Privacy and Security Concerns
Technology is fantastic, but with it comes data privacy and security concerns. Not only will people working in the industry have these concerns, but customers who are shopping or using the services might as well.
Overcoming these concerns isn’t too challenging, though. Many sales technology systems come with strict data privacy and security features that help limit data breaches and leaks of sensitive information.
Some companies have to overcome the obstacle of ensuring their customers that their information will remain safe with them, but with some adjustments and planning, it can be done.
Cost and Resources Constraints
Lastly, some companies face a major challenge when implementing modern technology into sales management: cost and resource constraints.
These tools are not free forever (some offer a free trial so you can see how it works) and ensuring that you have the budget to maintain the use of the technology can be difficult.
This is usually more of a concern for smaller businesses, but companies of all sizes might face this issue.
Case Studies: Examples of Successful Technology Implementation in Sales Management
You can listen to how great technology is for sales management all day, but the selling points are moot if you can’t see how well it has legitimately helped companies.
Let us look at a few case studies of how different aspects of technology have improved different aspects of sales management.
Commonwealth Joe: Improved Sales Forecasting with CRM and Analytics
Those working at Commonwealth Joe reveal that using CRM and analytics has improved their sales forecasting. Doing so lets them see what sales tactics are working, which ones are not, and where they could improve.
Since the sales team could see which sales strategies were working the best, they could continue to use those to boost their sales of goods or services.
Customer.io: Increased Efficiency and Collaboration with Communication and Workflow Tools
Customer.io needed CRM technology to help them with their inbound and outbound sales, communication, and workflow.
They found that utilizing a CRM’s search bars, proper employee documentation, and customer search fields allowed them to collaborate better on sales ideas, how to make their customers happier, etc.
Anonymous Hotel Chain: Enhanced Customer Experience and Sales Performance with Mobile Technologies
A hotel chain, that wanted to remain anonymous, started using CRM software to boost sales of their hotel rooms. By being able to keep track of their customer’s information in one place, they could enhance the customer experience.
They were also able to help increase their sales performance and mobile technologies like smartphone apps, etc.
Future Trends in Technology and Sales Management
As technology advances, more and more will become available in sales management.
While we already see a considerable increase in people who use modern technology in sales, there are some trends that we think will become more widely used in the future.
The first trend we will see making a strong appearance in sales management is the use of artificial intelligence (AI).
We already see more and more people using AI for different things, but it will likely become widely used in sales sooner rather than later.
While it is hard to say precisely how companies and sales technology will use AI, some ways we think they might use AI include:
- Building sales strategies
- Creating new sales and marketing campaigns
- Crafting new sales pitches and presentations
Virtual and Augmented Reality
Another trend we think will become widely accepted is the use of virtual and augmented reality (VR/AR). VR and AR will be highly beneficial for real estate agents, construction companies, interior designers, and other related fields.
They can walk their customers through what their new home, office, or space will look like in reality versus an illustration on a page.
Privacy and Security
Lastly, a trend we think will stick around but be improved upon is the privacy and security of sales management technology.
Protecting people’s information will only continue to become more critical, so we suspect we will see improvements in how technology can do that in the near future.
Technology is one of the most critical roles in modern sales management.
As a business, if you are looking for a way to improve sales efficiency, and increase sales and customer satisfaction, then implementing sales management technology can help. As these technologies evolve, we believe they will stay relevant and adapt to our ever-changing world using AI, VR, and AR.
Overall, using technology in modern sales management is the best way to have a successful sales team.
What is your experience with technology in sales management? Share your experiences in the comments below.