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Growth is one of the key agenda of all business leaders, and regardless of the size of the company, it's safe to assume that your business strategy works around growing your revenue.
There are a myriad of ways to grow your business and it may follow several directions too, but before you do, building a growth strategy is vital, one that will not just facilitate success but also helps you scale your operations and keep your employees productive.
At the center of this strategy should be technology, as you guessed it right.
In the modern business world, digital transformation is one of the driving forces behind long-term success and growth.
Sales technology is evolving just as fast as mar-tech is, and for the right reasons.
Sales technology has the ability to revamp your sales process by supporting your sales teams in generating more leads, fueling more insightful sales conversion tactics, and getting prospects to convert.
Salespeople can make use of sales technology to build a killer sales pipeline, enhance responsiveness, establish long-term relationships with customers and prospects, and ultimately, accelerate their sales by nurturing and converting leads.
But, before we dive in, what exactly is sales technology and why should a sales organization leverage it?
In this blog, we'll discuss -
- What is sales technology?
- What is the importance of technology in sales?
- 8 types of technology to leverage to accelerate sales
- Factors to consider while choosing sales technology
- Benefits of using technology for sales
- 4 sales technology trends to watch out for
What is Sales Technology?
Today, although sales technology might be confused with software sales, especially that of SaaS products, there's more to it than just that.
Sales automation, sales enablement, and sales technology have evolved tremendously over the last few years. But, what is sales technology, and how is it different from sales automation and sales enablement?
Sales technology is defined as a set of tools that help improve and enhance sales productivity by enabling salespeople to leverage their time and customer intelligence effectively and efficiently.
Sales automation, on the other hand, is a subgroup of sales technology, which helps most salespeople automate their mundane tasks for higher productivity and optimal use of the sales rep's time.
Customer relationship management software is a leading example of sales automation.
On the contrary, sales enablement is also a subdivision of sales techniques that is used far and wide by sales and marketing teams across all organizations. Sales enablement is typically used to produce better and more relevant content to help prospects and customers throughout their journey seamlessly.
Sales enablement is often described as the process and tools that enable the sales and marketing team to produce the right kind of content at the right time to engage and nurture potential customers accordingly.
Sales technology has been growing steadily over the last few years - the number of tools, categories, and users.
AI, automation, machine learning, NLP, and more can revolutionize sales tasks that often go unnoticed by salespeople such as finding and sorting out leads, chatting with potential customers via chatbots, and closing sales deals.
What is the Importance of Technology in Sales and Why Should you Invest in it?
Modern technology for sales and marketing are rapidly evolving, and this fact is ubiquitous.
We now have deeper, better insights into customer data, which can be used to provide personalized services catered to our customers' respective stages in the sales process.
Sales and technology complement one another flawlessly. With technology, sales leaders can improve overall productivity to a great extent, provide value to the business, manage raw data seamlessly, and find leads in this competitive environment.
Without a doubt, a great sales team can bring in tons of revenue to the business. However, to facilitate this, salespeople need to manage their time effectively to focus on making a sale, and not on routine tasks.
With sales technology, this is possible.
Why Should You Invest in Sales Technology?
Investing and upgrading your business with sales technology, is really, investing in yourself.
It pays off in the long-term and can improve the overall health of your business, aka, revenue engine.
Modern technology has equipped us with new, novice ways to find quality leads that match your ideal customer profile.
(67%) of companies leverage lead generation as a metric to determine success, and thus, investing in technology and making it a priority is a critical move.
With sales technology, here are some ways sales leaders can hunt leads that weren't available a decade ago -
- LinkedIn Sales Navigator
- Scrape contacts
- Email automation and email hunters
- Easy outreach with sales automation
- Stay on track with potential customers
- Receive analytics to gauge the sales process
More importantly, these sales tools leverage advanced technologies to aid sales professionals with the best route, personalize their method, and perform their best.
We can all agree that personalization and strategic sales processes can have a profound effect on the company's profits and customer lifetime value.
Switching to sales technology does not mean that the job of a salesperson is moot, or could extinguish. The role of a salesperson is equally, if not more, important to an organization.
Traditional sales have transformed into data-based interactions that leverage technology, to further support salespeople to perform their best and make their lives easier.
Having said that, as an organization, what kind of technology should you leverage to increase sales?
8 Incredible Ways to Accelerate Sales Through Technology
Modern sales teams leverage technology to drive higher revenue. From automating admin tasks, gathering customer insights to providing personalized, sales tech plays a major role in providing teams with an edge.
Here are 8 technologies that you can leverage to ensure your teams ace their goals -
#1 Customer Relationship Management Software (CRM)
A CRM is typically the first buy for any sales team.
It acts as a database of all your leads - right from the time they enter the funnel, till they are handed over to the customer success or support teams.
They provide insights on where the leads get stuck, and help you optimize those stages and improve outcomes.
The CRMs, when integrated with marketing automation software's and/or customer support software, can provide sales teams with insights on the customer as they go through all touchpoints. Teams can now identify which marketing campaigns generate maximum leads, and tailor the pitch and messaging accordingly to ensure maximum success.
#2 Lead Enrichment Tools
Lead enrichment involves activities that sales teams do to get all relevant details of the lead - contact details, roles, and other relevant details that can help teams qualify and nurture only relevant leads.
Lead enrichment tools help teams to understand their audience better, and help create personalized experiences that can improve outcomes.
And lead enrichment tools automate the entire process to help sales teams identify quality leads.
Sales teams spend a considerable amount of time prospecting and qualifying leads, and lead enrichment tools can help automate the entire process to ensure teams spend more time in selling.
#3 Internal Communication Tools for Sales Teams
Although not all of the sales tools are directly tied to customer interactions, tools that aid internal teams' to flourish and maintain consistent communication are vital.
This is especially true given the new normal and the rise of remote sales teams.
Ideally, sales reps must be able to share resources, connect with each other without any hassle, and perform other internal tasks to move forward with a deal. Likewise, sales managers should have visibility into their team's performance and collaboration.
Having a communication tool will do the trick.
Tools such as Slack, Zoom, Trello, and Notion are adopted by sales teams across the globe to streamline internal communication and minimize back-and-forth's.
In addition to celebrating small wins and keeping the team up to date with company news, these tools are perfect to collaborate with folks from other departments too.
Sales teams should be able to communicate with one another asynchronously to improve connection, reduce lag times between responses, and contribute to a more productive work environment.
#4 Sales Automation
Sales automation tools can assist and simplify an enormous chunk of their workload on a daily basis.
The right automation tool can make generating and qualifying leads extremely easy. Every time a prospect enters the sales funnel, automation tools help the sales team engage leads and prospects with personalized content.
A CRM is an example of sales automation. With the right CRM, sales teams can leverage their several templates to write a personalized email based on triggers and nurture flows to drive them toward becoming a customer.
Sales automation tools take the load off your sales reps' platter and can also act as an extra member of the team by engaging and closing leads.
#5 Sales Enablement and Engagement Tools
Sales enablement tools are software applications or platforms that are designed to help sales teams be more effective in their roles. These tools can provide a range of features and functionality, such as document management, sales training and coaching, sales analytics and reporting, content creation and management, and customer relationship management (CRM). The goal of sales enablement tools is to improve the efficiency and productivity of sales teams, and to help them close more deals by providing them with the resources and information they need to succeed. Some examples of sales enablement tools include Salesforce, LinkedIn Sales Navigator, and Seismic.
What do your customers prefer - calls or emails?
And when is it “too soon” and when is it “too late” to contact a prospect? And are you pushing the leads too hard?
This where sales enablement and engagement tools can help you.
Sales enablement and engagement tools enable one to uncover key details about the lead, when to engage them, and the content that can create maximum engagement.
For instance, Salesken can help you gain insights about the customers, know their key concerns, and needs, and help you create nurturing strategies that will resonate best with the customers, improve engagement and outcomes.
Also, Salesken can help you identify the winning strategies of your top reps, and share them in real-time with the entire team. This improves sales teams’ productivity, and helps in reaching their revenue targets.
#6 Sales Scheduling Tools
Sales scheduling tools enable companies an easy and efficient way to schedule meetings with prospects and customers.
We're all aware of the pressure of closing deals and how managers are always up to sales teams' necks to speed up their process.
Identify sales opportunities for companies to close deals faster. This is possible with sales scheduling tools.
Modern sales tools help you assess who your hot leads are, and the best strategies to nurture them. A scheduler helps automate the routing process, and companies can now guide the leads to the qualified reps who are best suited to engage them and improve conversions.
Calendly is one such tool that helps lead schedule slots with your sales team directly without any hassle of a middleman. They can access your sales reps’ calendar directly, see your available slots, and book a meeting.
Another example of sales scheduling is chatbots to engage and re-route your customers on your behalf, allowing you ample time to prepare and respond accordingly.
AI tools can help automate customer engagement, answer customer queries and collect valuable information about the leads that can help sales teams know their customers better.
These tools, powered with AI and machine learning, get better at customer interactions and engage just like humans do. This will also personalize the buying experience and make your leads feel heard and valued, and improves the chances of conversions.
#7 Social Media
Social tools such as LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram are getting a lot of attention of late.
It's 2023, and it's the way a lot of salespeople, especially millennials enter the sales ranks.
Social media is one of the best and proven methods to increase website traffic and ultimately, sales. Internet tools have changed the rules of the game when it comes to sales, marketing, and customer expectations.
With every information available at customers' fingertips, social media has made it easier and also, complicated for sales managers. Data has always been the forefront runner in the sales process, and yet, social media made it way easier to access customer data while automation tools can facilitate the analysis of data imported, allowing you to focus on data-driven sales.
Identify key customers, their likes, interests, background, and more details needed to target them and focus on building a high-quality presence.
Salespeople can easily connect with their prospects by just following them on social media. When identifying the prospects, make use of keywords meant to search your clients active from your respective industry.
Another way to drive more sales is by turning your existing clients into your brand advocates - reach out to them and offer to promote your product in exchange for a freebie, or a discount.
Social media can increase brand visibility, and help salespeople build long-lasting relationships with prospects and customers. This can further boost your chances of driving sales from social channels.
The attention span of an average visitor to a website is short, and if they aren't engaged in a short time, they leave immediately.
This is where chatbots come into play.
It's quite impossible for a human to sit at a desk all day and respond to every inquiry that comes their way. As demand for personalization and instant communication is on the rise, chatbots are becoming increasingly popular and more sophisticated for all businesses.
Customers usually complain about chatbots providing answers in the most bot-like manner, however, modern chatbots are powered by AI and machine learning to respond to every query in a human-like language.
With customers expecting a detailed answer to their questions and complaints, as sales leaders you can train your chatbots to meet your customers' needs, thus increasing your chances to bring in more sales!
Chatbots have the ability to respond to customer queries, understand their behavior and interests, and suggest available options - and, all of this is automated.
Sales chatbots enable you to push your leads further down the funnel with little or no human interference. They're also equipped with huge benefits - cost-cutting to avoid hiring a human agent and they're always on time!
Sales Tech Checklist: 5 Factors to Check When Selecting Sales Technology
When choosing sales technology to automate sales and marketing activities across your organization, many factors are considered like price, features, integrations, and support.
Whether it be a CRM, a website, or more, you need to be sure before signing that contract.
Here are 4 primary factors to consider when choosing sales technology -
1. Privacy and Security
For most, privacy and security are often the deal breaker when it comes to choosing a sales tech. There's no need to waste either's time if one of the criteria doesn't meet your requirements.
It's absolutely vital to understand the privacy implications of software under any consideration.
Some of the key privacy features to look out for before considering a tool are - SOC 2 compliance, GDPR compliant, and other basic privacy settings. If this sounds like a lot of trouble, reassess the tool again.
Getting hacked is bad business and bad for public relationships. Take your time out to ensure you're sure before choosing the tool.
2. Compare the Features
Most sales and marketing tools have proven to help businesses capture the right kind of leads and convert them at a lower cost, making it sound like an investment plan for your business.
However, the rise of unexpected costs can quickly cut you off your budget goals.
On the contrary, free or low-cost solutions do not always come with the support or features you need to fully utilize the tool for optimum performance. It can quickly become a hassle than it's worth when you discover that the tool won't help you out like you intended to.
It's a balancing act - prices, features, support, and ease of use are some key considerations to make before choosing the software for your business.
It is possible that certain tools can be specialized only for specific tasks. Conversational AI tools, prospecting tools, sales enablement tools and others are ones that have a specific purpose, and it can help optimize specific functions that need improvements.
But, before you pick the tool, you need to ensure that it integrates with your current tech stack to ensure seamless use of the product.
Else, you will need to spend additional time and resources to use the tool, which may outweigh the gains from using the particular technology.
Typically, all integrations are available on the website or make it a point to specifically check with the vendor if they integrate with your current tech stack.
Tools should be customizable based on your requirements and use case.
There could be a number of reasons why you want a particular feature or not.
From legal [data privacy issues] to practical [irrelevant use case], the vendors must be able to customize it as per your requirements.
And if the vendor is unable to show customization within a specific time frame, it is a red flag for you to move to other vendors or service providers.
5. Round the Clock Support
Once your business is up and running, minor issues can glitch up your entire day. Understanding the type of support the vendor provides often prevents major headaches, in case an issue arrives.
Understand what type of support your teams are okay with - do you need phone support, or prefer live chat or email correspondence?
Is access to 24/7 support an absolute must? Or, do you prefer to get it done during business hours?
Before choosing the software, make sure to try all kinds of support and gauge their responses based on response time, frequency of replies, and the language and tone of voice used as part of your vetting process.
Once you've got your process ironed out and implemented sales and marketing tools with your business, you'll want everything to be running smoothly.
This checklist should be your top priority when choosing new sales tools. Although every company is different, and so are their operations, ultimately, you'll need to fine-tune your checklist that works for your business.
4 Sales Technology Trends to Watch Out for!
Even before COVID-19, organizations across the globe have been adopting and integrating sales technology to be at par with the buyers' behavior.
However, in the wake of the pandemic, consumer behavior changed drastically forcing businesses to adopt quicker and retrieve deeper insights into their sales data to drive maximum sales performance.
These sales insights do not suffice the current market trends to provide the best customer services and exceed their sales goals.
Here are four sales technology trends to watch out for -
#1 Social Selling On the Rise
Selling has changed drastically over the last few years.
With social selling, businesses across the globe can easily connect with prospects and customers from any geography with accurate targeting that would greatly benefit from your product.
A huge part of business communication happens on social media and through communication channels, let's say chatbots.
There's no other time to get on social media to get your customers to notice you than now.
Social selling improves brand visibility by actively engaging with prospects and customers online, which keeps your brand on top of their minds. This means, getting higher quality leads with high conversion rates.
Some of the key social platforms that aid businesses to meet their quotas are LinkedIn and Twitter.
#2 Sales Accelerations with Advanced Automation
Sales teams have for long tried to automate tasks so that their teams can spend more time building relationships with the customers and improve conversions.
The rise in AI technologies have made it possible for sales reps to automate much of their routine, admin tasks.
From CRM entries, note taking during calls, automated lead scoring, identifying lead intent, much of the tasks has been automated and the insights thus gathered is being leveraged by sales teams to provide a personalized buying experience for the buyers and improve conversions.
Sales automation technologies not only improve sales outcomes, but help improve employee morale and satisfaction, and reduce attrition.
#3 Pricing Precision with Dynamic Sales Technology
With inflation at its peak since the 1980s and supply chains severely disrupted, top business leaders are worried about rising consumer costs.
As a result, CSOs across the globe are observing consumer, product, and transactions of sales data to understand how they impact consumer behavior.
By leveraging AI, dynamic pricing models are being built and adjusted in real-time across organizations all over.
With most B2B companies, pricing software can be grouped together contingent to their industry, past purchases, lenience towards a sale, and other factors to provide maximum transparency while negotiating deals.
Pricing prediction will be a critical factor in the coming years for driving peak sales performance in the wake of the rising inflation.
#4 Say Hello to a Digital-First Sales Experience
Even before the pandemic, most companies were, by and large, adopting digital technologies.
But, this peaked during the pandemic to drive optimum sales performance.
Consumers have started taking a digital first approach to buying, and sales teams must be able to personalize the buying experience to stand out from the competition. Teams need to adopt tools that can better understand customer needs, and provide the exact information that the customer is looking for at each stage of the funnel to ensure maximum success.
With this in mind, teams need to review their current sales processes, and add in technologies that can help optimize them to stand out from the crowd and close more deals.
Promote Peak Sales Performance with Sales Technology
The digital age is here and unless businesses recognize the value of being digital-first, we may find ourselves left behind.
A great deal of B2B companies in the recent past are well integrated with forward-thinking sales strategies, including AI-leveraged chatbots, sales automation, machine learning, and more.
Top sales professionals not only leverage sales technology to witness peak performance but also ensure that the same is used to achieve better results.
If your business is looking to leverage a technology-front sales technology to improve overall sales performance and productivity for your sales teams, book a demo with our sales experts today!
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