Mobile apps and the internet of things are about to reshape the way sales teams operate.
Sales teams of yesterday are using pen and paper to take notes, searching tirelessly for information on prospects, and wasting hours getting training on their sales territory. These, among many others, are the ways sales teams used to reach their prospects and win them over. Sales enablement software is about to get a serious makeover thanks to new mobile apps leveraging the internet of things.
If you’re a sales guy/gal you’re pretty accustomed to the nature of outbound sales activities. Go on any sales call or territory visit and you’ll be pulling out the pen and paper, checking off names copied from a spreadsheet, and, if you’re lucky, using some sort of CRM mobile tool. The internet of things is going to rewrite this script though. Instead of the pen and paper you will be using iBeacon-powered tablets & phones. Instead of using a spreadsheet to organize your territory prospects, you’ll have a map actively updating and informing you as you move through your region. And instead of the usual CRM, your tablet will use geofencing to proactively manage the people you’ve met with, the conversations you’ve had and the outcomes of your pitch will find their way into your CRM with little to do on your part. Welcome in the new era of contextual sales enablement software.
Let’s start with the basics:
What’s a “Contextual” Salesman?
This is salesman of the future. Armed with a tablet, smartphone and a wearable of some kind no doubt. More and more we’re seeing sales team use “big data” to make strategic decisions when it comes to winning the sale. Data can answer the questions of “where are my customers, and why?, “What should I know about Prospect-X before I get in the door?”, and “Who/where are our mutual connections so I can make that introduction?” This is where context plays a huge rule.
The contextual salesman will be one step ahead of you on these questions because he’s backed up by data. He’ll know more about the customer, their needs and their budget. He’ll know more about you, your offering and your capabilities and he’ll know how to exploit these things. Finally, he’ll know more about his territory (your city), its economy and the trends in tech that directly impact the prospects. This is the sales enablement software coming their way soon. Worried yet?
On top of all of this, don’t forget this is just one salesperson. The best sales teams in the world are collectively winning deals, conquering territory and establishing their brand’s foothold. The way they will stay connected in the future is through interactive maps tied to CRMs, heat maps on regional prospects and a suite of communication tools to keep the team sharper than ever.
Let’s do a quick role play:
Imagine you’ve just arrived at the office of a highly sought after prospect. You’ve spent somewhere close to 10 hours preparing and researching the client. You’ve got your presentation, maybe some props or demos, and your pitch all ready to go. Behind the scenes you’re probably backed by some sales enablement software like Sugar, Salesforce, etc. You give the pitch you always give, perhaps with slight variation, show off the same slides, and leave feeling confident.
What’s wrong with this?
- You needed 10 hours to prepare
- You gave the same pitch you give every client
- Your pitch contained no unique, or contextually relevant info
- You now have to waste time inputting a ton of data into your CRM
Here’s how it should have gone:
It’s an hour before your pitch with the highly sought after client. Your smartphone or tablet are feeding you relevant info on the city, company and even the prospect. Your preparation gives you insight in their history, key points on the leadership, economic update for their industry and assorted hints on the prospect based on the year they’re having. Not a bad start.
Now that you have all this info, you nail the pitch by including relevant info to address their concerns before they’re even raised. You also draw particular attention to certain features based on what you now know. “Server maintenance costs were on your list of areas to improve according to X article from yesterday, so let me tell you why we’re outfitted to assist.”
You nail the pitch, you leave the building and now for the CRM info. But while you were in and out of the building your tablet/smartphone, thanks to geofencing, knows you were in XYZ, Inc.’s office doing your thing. The time you spent there, the relevant bullet points on the client, and team members you took with you are already logged. To wrap it up, the confidence percentage on winning the deal and notes come in the form of push notification buttons or voice memo options. Entering the pertinent data for your team to keep up with not only takes a quarter of the time to enter, but also gets distributed to the team’s devices in seconds. This is what sales enablement software will be capable of in the near future.
What does this mean for your sales teams?
- More effective prep with contextual insight means more deals won.
- Quicker prep time means your teams handle more sales calls.
- Faster CRM integration means less time wasted fiddling with some old UI.
- Better communication means your sales teams cover the right prospects in less time.
This is the future of sales enablement software. Frightened? Don’t be. You’re that much smarter than your competition now.