Like a secret family recipe, sales wisdom is often handed down from generation to generation across sales teams. While some sales mantras are as relevant today as they were years ago, others could have your team living in the past.
One example of a mantra that is losing its relevance is “A.B.C.”, or “Always Be Closing”. While signing or closing a deal brings immediate rewards, a mindset focused only on closing sales does not help develop customer loyalty or support a longer-term approach.
Trust is usually built up over time and every interaction with customers is a chance to improve on it. At the end of 2020, our State of the Connected Customer research showed that customers believe a company’s trustworthiness matters much more than it did a year before. Successful sales strategies now look to build deeper levels of loyalty through customer relationships over a lifetime of sales and interactions.
To build stronger loyalty and strengthen customer relationships, sales teams need to understand customers better. They must understand how their customers think, what they want, and what they need.
The first step is capturing customer data from across all parts of the business. But it’s not enough to have data, your teams also need to share a single view of your customer. With Customer 360, all your teams – marketing, sales, service, commerce, IT, and analytics – can have a single view of customer data on an integrated customer relationship management (CRM) platform. Collaboration is easier, so employees can work together to build lasting, trusted relationships and deliver the intelligent, personalised experiences your customers expect.
Once customer data is integrated, artificial intelligence and analytics tools like Einstein and Tableau analyse past sales history and current data to pick up on the patterns and even predict customer behaviour. Sales teams can uncover new trends and sell to customers in a more personalised and effective way, rather than market to large groups.
Even companies at the top of their industry need to adapt to changing customer expectations.
In Vietnam, BAYA had already revolutionised the furniture industry with its super-store business model. But the innovation doesn’t stop there. To stay ahead of the competition, BAYA cannot compete on furniture design alone. According to Vu Anh Nguyen, General Manager of BAYA, “we need to provide the best customer experience available, and we’re putting the technology in place to achieve that.”
For BAYA to maintain its leadership, they had to better understand who their customers were. They shifted from a paper trail to creating a single view for customers in Customer 360. BAYA also used Sales Cloud to make the sales process much more efficient. Within two months, the BAYA team won a major account due to their increased speed and efficiency. That account alone gave them a 3,000% return on their Salesforce investment.
Now, the company is using Marketing Cloud to identify and serve high-value customers and provide smarter product recommendations. As BAYA shifts more of its business online, it continues to find ways to use the Salesforce ecosystem to provide more complete solutions and make their customers’ lives easier.
Just like BAYA, with the ability to access Salesforce from anywhere, any sales team can benefit from a range of smart and intuitive tools. Integrated onboarding and coaching can bring new members up to speed quickly. You can easily empower them with forecasting tools, lead management, and simplified pricing and quoting tools so they can focus on customer experience and not on day-to-day tasks. Sales Cloud powers up their productivity while keeping them agile and adaptable to real-time market conditions.
Having software like Sales Cloud can help sales teams work efficiently and understand customers better. But a big part of successful sales is soft skills. Sales teams need to be able to cultivate and maintain strong customer relationships.
We asked Nguyen and other ASEAN leaders to share their wisdom about growing stronger customer relationships and strengthening sales culture. The result is ASEAN 50 Pro Sales Tips for 2021, an e-book capturing insights from well-known leaders and brands fresh from their experiences adapting to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Here is a sample of some of their tips:
“Get to know your customers and improve their experience at each stage of the customer journey.”
“Pitch less, listen more. We often feel more in control of the sales process if we have reams of information to present. However, adopting a conversational sales process, which involves asking questions and listening, then presenting back a simple one-page proposal, is much more effective.”
“Approach each customer with the idea of helping them to solve their business challenges, not only with a focus on selling your products or services. Successful salespeople are the ones who can identify a business challenge to resolve.”
At Salesforce, we are committed to bringing businesses and customers together to make meaningful connections across the world. Starting on 20 May 2021 and running until 1 July is our biggest online event of the year, Salesforce Live: Asia.
Register for the Sales Trailblazers episode on 3 June to hear real experiences and success stories from our customer community. Their stories will inspire your sales team to adopt a new mantra to “Always Be Customer-focused”.
Get inspired by ASEAN’s best and brightest leaders, download your copy of ASEAN 50 Pro Sales Tips for 2021 and share it with your sales team.