In today’s changing economic landscape, businesses need solutions that can boost productivity while saving time and cutting costs. As customer expectations continue to evolve, sales teams in particular need to do more with less.
The pressure is on to close more deals and meet sales targets today. But at the same time, sales teams also need to identify opportunities for tomorrow. Tiffani Bova, Global Customer Growth and Innovation Evangelist at Salesforce, calls this dual challenge the ‘seller’s dilemma’.
So how can sales professionals focus on the near-term while also planning for the future? To drive long-term growth and success, they need to rethink their sales strategies to adapt to new ways of selling.
Optimise, transform, innovate
According to our State of Sales research, 72% of sellers’ time is spent on non-selling activities during an average week. These activities often comprise critical but tedious tasks like deal management and data entry. As a result, their ability to meet sales targets is being impacted – 83% of sellers expected to miss their quota in 2022. When sales operations help sellers reduce their number of non-selling tasks, they can help optimise the time available to sales teams to connect with customers and close deals.
To enable this optimisation and improve selling efficiency, sales processes may need to be transformed. This can mean automating tasks which sales teams may be completing manually. Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) can also mine customer data to help with sales forecasting and territory mapping to further free up time for sales teams to focus on selling. Adopting these transformative technologies can provide data-driven insights to help teams have meaningful conversations with customers. It can reduce the time spent on sales management, while allowing them to focus more on their own core skills and be innovative in addressing customer pain points. This can make selling a more rewarding experience while also helping them achieve sales growth.
Boost efficiency and cost savings with AI and automation
Sales automation can boost productivity. Deploying a platform like Salesforce Sales Cloud can help automate and streamline workflows to make sales teams more efficient. For example, when a sales representative books an order in, it is automatically sent to the customer and upon receiving their e-signature, an auto invoice is generated. Such streamlined order management and centralised view of customer data enabled by Salesforce have helped Browzwear reduce the manual handling of each order by 65%. The company’s use of Tableau for data-driven decision making has helped save time spent in verifying numbers and data, thereby improving data transparency and efficiency. This has accelerated their digital transformation and helped Browzwear scale up efficiently to achieve 60% year-on-year business growth.
When automation is paired with AI, it can help significantly reduce manual work like lead scoring. By carrying out a sales analysis of past deals, AI like Sales Cloud Einstein can help prioritise the leads most likely to convert. This can keep sellers focused on meaningful conversations to close deals faster with customers. As the State of Sales reveals, eight in 10 leaders and sales operations professionals say AI has improved the use of sales representatives’ time.
Unlock your sales superpower
As sales representatives hone their skills to beat the ‘seller’s dilemma’, Bova says it’s important for them to understand their own strengths. Instead of trying to do too much, they should focus on their own ‘selling superpower’.
“If sellers feel they are good at something, say at understanding customer pain points, I say do more of that,” says Bova. “When sellers try to be something that they’re not, it comes off as inauthentic. They never really feel comfortable and confident with it.”
While building relationships with customers will always be important, Bova believes the successful sales reps of the future will be those that use technology better than their competitors.
“At the end of the day, this is about human and tech – not tech or human alone. Whether you’re using a CRM or chat, email or video, you are using tech. And those that really lean into using tools like AI and machine learning for lead scoring and forecasting, will really build on their own strengths.”
So, how can sellers go about using technology to build long-lasting relationships and boost their sales?
Set up for sales success
To achieve long-term sales success, it is important to have a strong digital foundation. This enables sellers to be agile and innovative by tapping into the power of technologies like automation and AI.
Streamlining your tech stack to support your sales strategy can help deliver improved efficiency and cost savings. But where can you start?
This e-book offers guidance on using the right technology and human skills to achieve sales success, now and into the future.
Download it now for:
✔️ Success tips from Salesforce experts, partners and Trailblazers
✔️ Effective techniques to refresh your sales strategy
✔️ A sales readiness checklist – to get you ready for the future of sales
Achieve sales success by downloading your free Selling Smarter Not Harder e-book now.